July 20, 2017
Decided to try the footies with Surround this year as sold by the HOS. We were really hopeful that this would help since we usually lose all of our apples to codling moth (we only have two producing trees with a few others that should bear next year). We're in western Colorado by the way. Here's our opinion of the footies so far:
First of all the Surround never completely goes into solution and no matter how long we poured it back and forth over the footies, quite a bit never attaches. Still, we were able to get a fairly good coating of clay on the footies.
Most of our apples still have codling moth damage, they simply lay eggs right through the footies despite the kaolin.
Now, a vast majority of our apples are falling off the tree (we used twist ties to attach the footies to the stem when apples were about the diameter of a quarter).
In short . . . not very happy with the footies - they seem like a waste of money and time.
Anyone out there have better success with these against codling moth and if so, what do you suggest?
Thinking of trying paper bags (don't like the idea of our apples sitting in ziplock plastic in our intense sun) next year although we're not crazy about having to remove them at the proper time to color the apples.
March 16, 2015
Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry to hear about your poor experience with the fruit socks. I have to admit that I'm too lazy to coat the socks with Surround myself, but back when Ted did them I thought they were useful. They were definitely saturated and shedding Surround. It probably needs to be pretty thick to be enough of an irritant to dissuade the codling moths from landing on them long enough to make their deposit.
Is it possible that the apples were already stung when you put on the footies?
I've used Ziplock bags in the past, with the lower corners cut off. I think they kept out the moths, but earwigs seem to love them. I've seen people make small holes in the bags.
Something like an organza gift bag, if inexpensive enough and UV stable seems like it could work well. It wouldn't touch most of the surface of the apple while it was small.
March 27, 2015
I second Jafar's guess that quarter-sized is too late. I put my fruit sox on when the apples are a bit smaller than a dime. Also I just twist the sox and tuck the twist into the sock vs. a twist tie or anything else.
The sox do take time to install, and it can feel overwhelming to put a sock on every single apple. But as I have told others, you don't have to put a sock on every apple, you only have to put a sock on the apples that you want to eat 🙂
July 20, 2017
Thanks for the replies.
I don't think we put the footies on too late based on recommendations for apples in our area and my own calculations using growing degree days for codling moth in our area. Didn't see the oviposition marks until at least three weeks after putting them on and most of them have an expanded hole in the footie above the hole in the apple. My wife thinks they were smaller than a quarter diameter when we put them on. I suspect the problem is, as suggested, that the Surround was not a thick enough layer to ward the moths off. Not sure we can change that since we worked quite a while to get what we could to stick.
I think organza would have the same problem - moths would oviposit through the tiny holes.
I don't mind the time it takes to put a bag on every apple, it wasn't that bad, except that it didn't work and thus feels like a waste of time and money.
I'm going to try paper bags next year and see how that goes.
March 16, 2015
I did some poking around and was told that reports with the nylon footies have been hit and miss. Some swear by them, others report results similar to yours. I'm not sure what the key factor is on whether they are effective. Sounds like you were paying attention and now what to look for with respect to timing.
For the organza, I think the key would be that the bag not touch the fruit flesh.
Please report back on how the paper bagging works for you.
March 16, 2015
Great topic. I have used the surround soaked footies many times to great success. Each one of those times, though, Ted Swensen soaked them himself before selling them to me. I have never soaked them myself, but I could tell that there was quite a bit in each one, as they "blew smoke" when I moved them. I wonder if a bit of dish soap in the solution, like just a drop, would help them to stick to the footies? Now I'm nervous, because I had planned to buy them and soak them my self next year. Actually I planned to do it this year, but time got away from me.
I have been mostly using ziplocs to good success the last couple of years since HOS booted Ted from the device he created. I always cut off the entire bottom of the ziploc. I tried to contact him through Prima consulting but had no luck. I may have to post myself and see what difficulties I have in trying to make it work.
July 26, 2016
March 25, 2015
Something added to the mix of clay might be Just-I-fly on the bottom left side of this link. It would be interesting only if it would be natural and if that it has an effect to moths, not just flys. (ie -the one-two punch effect) If any farmer has ever purchased the product could we please have the applicable patent number so we could read all the fine print?
March 24, 2015
I've had great success with the footies. This year I reused footies for a second time with no surround and they were almost as good. I think my biggest nemesis is apple maggot - the apples that got no footies were 100% inedible and with footies, 95% good. The few coddling moths that get through are minor and don't sway my plan to use more footies and strip all apples that don't get covered. Jim
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