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How to Spray for Bugs on Apple Trees

By Larry Parr ; Updated September 21, 2017

Bugs on apple trees can be a serious problem for the backyard gardener. Several different insect pests such as tent caterpillars, apple maggots and coddling moths need to be controlled by spraying in order to keep them from destroying your apple crop or even killing your tree. The solution is a simple but effective spraying regimen that, if adhered to, will kill the majority of bugs that threaten your apple tree and provide you with a healthy and juicy crop of apples.

Purchase a liquid fruit tree spray at your local nursery or home center. Your nursery expert will be able to direct you to the spray that is most effective for the specific problems that affect apple trees in your particular region.

Wait until the blooms on your apple tree just begin to change color but before they open to spray for the first time. Mix the liquid apple tree spray in your insecticide sprayer according to the manufacturer's directions. Wear gloves and a breathing mask while mixing the spray.

Put on eye goggles, a breathing mask and gloves and spray your apple tree thoroughly, according to the directions of the insecticide manufacturer. Spray both the top of the leaves as well as the underside. Do not set the pressure so high that it knocks off the apple blooms.

Spray a second time when approximately 90 percent of the blooms have fallen from your tree. Again, spray thoroughly (wearing eye goggles, a breathing mask and gloves) but do not have the pressure set high enough to knock off your emerging apples.

Following the previous directions, spray your tree every two weeks up until seven days prior to the harvesting of your apples.


Things You Will Need

  • Insecticide sprayer
  • Liquid fruit tree spray
  • Eye goggles
  • Breathing mask
  • Gloves


  • Always wear eye protection and a breathing mask whenever spraying insecticide of any kind.
  • Do not spray in a wind over 5 mph.
  • Do not spray if rain is expected within 24 hours.

About the Author


Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for television, everything from "Smurfs" to "Spider-Man." Today Parr train dogs and write articles on a variety of topics for websites worldwide.