It’s that time of year again when those pesky little moths from Australia start to cause havoc from Auckland to Northland, although now with the heat, other locations south of Auckland are having this problem too.
You will notice if you have it as your fruit will fall early from the tree and upon inspection you’ll see a little hole, often the area around the hole will be soft and when you cut it open you’ll see the culprit; guava moth larvae.
The guava 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 natural control measures work best, such as spraying with a Neem Oil solution, planting plants that attract predator insects and using traps; Grants Step Dad, Mathew The Super Gardener, made us up a couple of inexpensive solar traps that worked very well, here’s how to make them.
How to make a Solar Guava Moth Trap …
Solar stake lights (phone your local hardware store to see if they have plastic solar lights, or search on trade me “solar LED garden lights” there were 8 for $18.00 as of 1 April 2018)
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 guava 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.