HilaryThomson
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:57 pm
Location: London

Asian ladybirds spoiling our plums?

Here in London UK we are new to Asian Ladybirds (aka Lady Beetles) but have had a plague of them on our espaliered plum tree since late spring. I was hoping they would eat the plague of aphids on the leaves but no such luck! And although all the information I have read says they only suck on rotting fruit, ours are sucking on and spoiling plums on the tree, leaving marks and horrible black stuff. Even the lavae seem to be attaching themselves and leaving blemishes. Help - where do we go from here?
Hilary Thomson
www.twolizards.co.uk

cynthia_h
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Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Welcome to The Helpful Gardener. I've taken the liberty of moving your post to the Fruit-Growing "department" of the forum, in hopes that others, much more knowledgeable than I about the subject, can guide you.

Best wishes for successful gardening!

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

JONA878
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Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

Hi Hilary,

I guess those Ladybirds settled on your plums first of all to demolish the aphids there.
Trouble is once that source of food had gone then your plums are the next in line. Ladybirds do indeed enjoy fruit....especially if there is nothing else. Although they say that they cannot eat citrus.
I remember many years ago when there was a huge infestation of them down at Clacton and Southend. We were on holiday over there and the little blighters were even having a go at us.

Other than useing an insectacide I think the only thing to do is wait for them to depart.
You could try a soap mix spray...but I have dougts if it would work on them....worth a try though.

:)
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

OfficeNinja
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Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:02 pm

I'm in Herts and I've got the same problem with my espaliere plum tree - the little buggers seem to have munched a hole in just about every plum on the tree (wouldn't mind if they just devoured one or two, but kind of annoying that they're ruining all of the fruit)

It wasn't until yesterday I even figured out what what causing it, when I caught one in the act! Previously I thought it might be wasps as I'm sure it was those that was plaguing the Discovery apple tree next to it. But now I'm not so sure - there were certainly lots of wasps buzzing around the apple tree and lots caught in my juice jar trap, but was I'm wrongly giving them the blame?

Anyway, what did you mean by soap spray? You mean like washing up liquid in water? It's got to be worth a go if there are no other ideas... :(

JONA878
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Posts: 1014
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:14 am
Location: SUSSEX

Yes Office.....fairy liquid in water is ideal. Just don't use detergent as that will harm the plant.

As to your Discovery. Odds are that the wasps are just hollowing out the fruit after it has recieved a bird peck.
Apple skin....especially skin as tough as Discoverys...is on the whole too tough for a wasp to penetrate. But give it a small wound or skin crack...and in it goes.
An apple a day.....keeps me in work.

OfficeNinja
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:02 pm

bah! birds, wasps, ladybirds - no wonder farmers smother their crops in insecticide! :evil:

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