How to Keep Insects From Growing in Peach Trees


Peaches, among the sweetest, tastiest of all fruit, come in many varieties--from the yellow-fleshed Sweet Dream to the juicy Elberta freestone peach. Although peaches are fairly easy to grow, and some, like the Elberta, are not particular about the soil they grow in, all types of peach trees can become the victims of the peach tree borer, San Jose scale, Japanese beetles and other insects. To protect your tree from destructive insects, keep it as healthy as possible.

Step 1

Introduce beneficial nematodes to control the common peach tree borer moth and the lesser peach tree borer. Purchase the correct species of nematode for this job, then introduce them into the soil around your tree. For the lesser peach tree borer, manually insert the tiny worms into the borers' holes in the trees' trunk.

Step 2

Capture Japanese beetles in traps, which contain a pheromone attractive to this pest, on the edge of your property and not on your peach tree. The pheromone attracts other beetles from as far as 1 mile away. Control the larvae by treating soil and lawn areas on your property with milky spore or other products designed to kill Japanese beetle larvae.

Step 3

Control the San Jose scale insect on peach trees by spraying your tree with a dormant season narrow-range horticultural oil, according to the University of California at Davis. The San Jose scale juvenile is a small, yellow crawling insect that sucks fluids from the tree. Good results have been reported for orchards where 2 to 6 gallons of oil spray were applied to each affected acre.

Step 4

Keep ants off your peach tree because they bring destructive insects such as aphids. Although the ants do not harm your tree, aphids and others that the ants feed from can cause significant damage if allowed to get out of control. As soon as you notice ants, spray your tree with a sharp stream of water to get off as many of these insects as possible. Then smear a band of a barrier product such as Tanglefoot around the tree trunk, about 1 foot from ground level. If aphids have already appeared, spray your tree with insecticidal soap several days in a row and continue spraying until you see no further sign of these insects.

Things You'll Need

  • Nematodes
  • Dormant oil
  • Insecticidal soap
  • Pheromone traps
  • Milky spore
  • Tanglefoot


  • Colorado State University: Peach Tree Borer
  • University of California, Davis: San Jose Scale
  • Master Gardeners: June Gardening Topics
  • Ohio State University: Growing Peaches and Nectarine in the Home Landscape
  • Ohio State University: Control of Japanese Beetle Adults and Grubs in Home Lawns

Who Can Help

  • Adams County Nursery: Peach Tree Varieties
Keywords: peach trees, controlling insects, pest control fruit

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.