These pesky little moths from Australia are now causing havoc in Auckland after making their way down from Northland, the last time our lemon tree fruited I noticed the fruit was falling early from the tree and upon inspection I could see a little hole had been made and the area was going soft, when cut open there was the culprit, guava moth larvae. The moth lays its eggs on the outside of the fruit and when hatched the larvae burrow inside, they’ll do this on a range of fruit and nut plants including guavas, citrus, loquats, apples, peaches, plums, pears, macadamias and feijoas, and unfortunately they breed all year round. Complimentary control measures work best such as spraying with a Neem Oil solution and using traps, Grants Step Dad, Mathew The Super Gardener, made us up a couple of inexpensive solar traps.
To make them you’ll need
Solar stake lights (available at most hardware stores)
A circle cutter, a stake and some Neem Oil
First undo the fitting/lid at the top of the solar light and use a circle cutter to cut out a hole part way up the light, take off the base and replace with a stake to get better height, next you pour Neem Oil into the light below the hole, put the lid back on and place beside fruiting trees where you’ve noticed the moth.
It’s also a good idea to spray when the fruit first starts to form with a diluted Neem Oil solution, two teaspoons to one litre of warm water mixed with one teaspoon of natural dish wash liquid, do this weekly until there’s no sign of the moth, make the spray fresh each time and if you have any left over spray on leaves and around the base too.
To help keep the Guava Moth away you can also plant lavender, borage, Echinacea, alyssum or hyssop near the fruiting trees, these attract beneficial predator insects.