How to Treat Apple Trees for Bugs


Before you enjoy the fruits of your labor, some common fruit tree pests may try to beat you to the punch and feast on your apple trees. Spare your trees from the infestation of would-be predators by using one of the many organic or chemical treatments available to treat apple tree bugs.

Step 1

Treat codling moth, an apple tree's most common pest, with insecticides such as Permethrin and carbaryl (Sevin). Apply after a petal fall during the summer. Use it on a 10-to-14 day interval for the best effect. Control codling moth with a non-chemical approach by thinning the apple fruit. Look for fruit that shows signs of codling moth entry--early signs are a reddish circle on the fruit, where an advanced infestation will be evident by brown frass excreted by the caterpillar. Pick up and discard any fruit that show this type of injury.

Step 2

Control apple maggot flies using red sticky spheres that contain a feeding attractant. (Purchase the spheres at garden centers or through mail-order catalogs.) Assemble the trap according the manufacturer's instructions and hang on a tree by July 1. Place one trap for every 100 apples on a tree. Remove the traps when they become covered with bugs or debris.

Step 3

Treat aphids on apple trees by applying a horticultural oil during the dormant season (late winter or early spring). Attach the container to a garden hose. Spray the undersides and tops of the tree's leaves for a non-chemical control. Use an insecticide such as Malathion to chemically treat aphids.

Things You'll Need

  • Permethrin or Sevin
  • Sticky spheres
  • Horticultural oil
  • Garden hose
  • Malathion


  • Apple and Pear Insects
  • Apple Maggot Management
  • How to Manage Pests in Gardens and Landscapes
Keywords: apple tree pests, treating apple tree pests, controlling apple tree bugs and pests

About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.