Homemade Spray for Peach Tree Borers?
Have spots on my peach tree,that have a clear jelly-like blobs on the branches. I was told it's peach tree borers.
Is there a homemade spray I can make to kill them without hurting/damaging my tree?
A homemade spray for peach borer that I would recommend would be neem oil. This is because one of the most successful ways of getting rid of peach borer is done by interrupting the mating cycle. Neem oil does exactly this.
However, you also need to know when the peach borer attacked your tree and the cycle times to be able to interrupt that cycle.
Female borers start out in the summer looking for trees to lay their eggs in. In northern areas this is generally in July, for southern areas this is usually August and September.
Peach borers like to lay their eggs on tree trunks a few inches below the soil line, at the soil line and to about a foot above the soil line.
Some species, such as the lesser peach tree borer will lay their eggs in damaged areas of the upper tree limbs.
Borers produce one generation per year.
When you apply your neem oil spray, you will need to apply it to all these areas to be successful.
The peach tree larva hatch and as soon as cooler weather arrives they go into a rest period for the summer. As soon as the weather warms up in the following season they are ready to feed and do their damage.
Now, you can make your own neem homemade spray if you are lucky enough to live in a tropical or sub-tropical area where you have access to neem trees. However, more often than not you will need to go to your garden center and see if you can buy a commercial product. There are several now that are available. Neem oil is definitely one of the best natural pesticides around.
If you don't have access to neem oil, then the other alternative is to take wire, poke the holes out as much possible and then make a solution of Diatomaceous Earth and fill the holes with this. You can either use a syringe to do this, or you can reduce the water and just pack it into the holes. Complete this by using window putty or plastic wood to seal the hole.
Some people also plant garlic at the base of their peach trees to discourage peach borers. I prefer to use a mixture of garlic and tansy. Here I am talking about the common tansy, not tansy ragwort.
Tansy not only helps to keep peach borer and other flying insects away, it also concentrates the potassium in the soil, so is beneficial to the peach trees from that aspect as well, as its presence will help fertilize the fruit trees.
And while I am espousing the virtues of tansy it is great companion planting with potatoes to ward off the Colorado potato beetle.
However, common tansy is midly toxic to so please keep your small children, chickens and other livestock away from this herb.
People do drink tansy tea as a worm remedy, and during the pioneer days tansy was rubbed onto the meat to help preserve it. However, it is very bitter to the taste, and most animals will find it unpalatable, but don't feed it directly to your chickens as you would stinging nettles, for example.