Apple Blossom – a beetle from a group of beetles, a family of weevils. A gourmet for the buds of an apple tree. From his portrait (you’re unlikely to see him when you live) it can be seen that his mouth apparatus is located at the tip of a rather long proboscis, and scientists call this whole structure the rostrum. The length of the beetle is about 5 mm. He was the first among pests to crawl out of his winter shelter in the spring. We at this time may still not be in the garden. Other pests at this time have nothing to eat on the apple tree, but the color-bearer can bite through the dense scales of apple buds. The kidneys are already filled with juice but have not burst yet, and their contents are very delicate in taste – a delicacy for the beetle.
As soon as the rays of the morning spring sun illuminate the apple trees, the beetles wake up, leave the wintering places and run along the trunk and branches in search of suitable buds. The beetle drills its kidney with its “trunk” and tastes its inside. Beetles usually eat lunch during the day when it is warm and they woke up after a night’s numbness. It gets colder by night, and the beetles become stiff again. In windy weather, part of them falls to the ground, in order to run again to the kidneys in the morning. A punctured kidney secretes a drop of juice. Soon all the drilled kidneys are in tears. Attentive gardeners notice this: if the garden “burst into tears”, it means that the apple beetle woke up. It’s time to fight him. How to do it?
The first is immediately, as soon as you arrived at the site in early spring, to clear the old bark from the booth if this was not done in the fall. What was scraped off must be immediately burned? Also cover up the hollows, cracks, where some of the bugs could winter. These measures will help to slightly reduce the number of pests.
A very effective way is shaking off beetles. A tarpaulin or a plastic film is spread under the apple tree. On the branches, tap with a stick wrapped in a rag, so as not to injure the branches. Beetles, frightened, tighten their antennae, legs and fall down. As is common practice with many beetles, they pretend to be dead. At an air temperature of 5–6 degrees, the beetles are inactive, and these pretenders can be calmly swiped with a broom from the litter and immediately destroyed. However, in the sun, at 10-12 degrees and above, they quickly come to their senses and begin to scatter and scatter. Therefore, you need to quickly roll up the litter, until they come to their senses, and shake off the contents in a fire or in a bucket of water and kerosene. This procedure must be done the next day, and then every 2–4 days several times until the beetles stop falling.
In the upper part of the stem, at the branching, a tourniquet of straw impregnated with malathion can be applied. Or to impose trapping glue belts, smeared with glue from insects, in the middle of the stem, at the top of the fork and on large branches. The trapping glue belts are very effective because the legs of the beetle are hairy, and he, having barely touched the glue leg, adheres to it forever. Hunting belts do not need to be kept for a long time, because useful insects that can die in the belt will soon wake up.
Of course, it will not be possible to catch all the bugs, but still, their number will be significantly reduced. Beetles that are not caught will continue their activity on eating kidneys. Deformed leaves will grow from damaged kidneys.
This side of the activity of beetles is not so dangerous. The worst will be when the buds appear. The beetle that has gathered on the kidneys is concerned about procreation. Females will begin to lay eggs in flower buds. With her long proboscis, the female apple-beetle gnaws a narrow hole in the bud through which she will lay an egg inside the bud. Only one egg in one bud. There everything is precisely calculated for them: the nutrition in the bud is enough for only one child. But the female carries 50–100 eggs. And therefore, having closed the hole in the bud with her excrement, she will continue to lay the rest of the eggs in other buds. The longer the cool weather is and the longer the buds do not open, the more eggs the female apple-eater will have to attach, the more the apple tree will suffer. After all, she lays eggs only in still closed green or barely colored buds. Egg-laying continues until the beginning of the loosening of the pink buds. If there is a hot, stormy spring, the buds will quickly open, the female will not have time to damage many buds.
After 5–10 days, the larva of the apple flower beetle, white with a brown head, without legs, is hatching from the testicle. She immediately begins to eat away all the inside of the bud: pestle, stamens. With its secretions, it glues the petals from the inside, the bud does not open. Petals dry up, turn brown. Above the larva, it turns out a sort of house where she lives. With severe damage to the apple tree, there are many such brown buds. On young apple trees at this time, you can collect and destroy these “houses” together with the inhabitants – this is one of the ways to deal with the apple bee-eater. The larva develops for 15–20 days, then it pupates. The beginning of pupation coincides in time with the end of flowering and the beginning of the formation of ovaries. The pupa is yellow, lives for about a week, then turns into a bug.