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Official Blog of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County
Sunflowers
Comments:
by Cayte
on July 19, 2018 at 8:58 AM
One online resource suggested applying a pesticide upon the ground starting at the trunk outward to the end of the branch tips in Spring before its flowers form. Is this effective? And, having been to Asian countries where insect consumption is common, I wondered whether these worms have a nutritional value.
Reply by Steve I Morse
on July 19, 2018 at 1:54 PM
Thanks for the question/comment. Codling moth infestations are very difficult to eradicate. Often, you can only control the infestation to hopefully low levels.  
 
While you didn't specify the source of your online suggestion to "applying a pesticide upon the ground starting at the trunk outward to the end of the branch tips in Spring before its flowers form. Is this effective?" I don't agree with the online recommendation since it didn't specify the pesticide or its impact on pollinating bees if the pesticide is taken up into the tree when it blooms, nor does it follow the IPM procedure(s) posted in UCANR's Pest Note http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7412.html. Reviewing the Pest Note again today I found it quite complete in how to attempt to control of the Codling Moth in a home orchard and no spraying of the ground under the tree is mentioned for home orchards (sanitation and disposal of the fallen fruit, etc. is). It also mentions that you may have a neighborhood problem in that even if you control the moths on your property, your neighbors' apple tree Codling moths may end up on yours. I recommend you read the Pest Note to glean the appropriate level of effort you are willing to invest to get a "reasonable" apple crop.  
 
As for nutritional value of the "worms", I couldn't find information on the nutritional value. In many of the references I looked at they didn't seem to imply any harm from eating them. However, the UCANR Pest Note says: "If eating wormy fruit, be sure to cut out damaged portions, because they might contain toxins (aflatoxin) generated by mold." I'd strongly recommend following that guidance even though I'm thinking about all the "partial" worms I've found after taking a bite from a freshly picked apple off my own tree over the years.  
 
CHEERS  
Editor
 
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