Q: The peaches on my peach tree are oozing a clear sap. This is becoming a yearly problem and I am picking lots of them off the tree. I do spray for disease and insects, but what I am using isn’t solving the problem. Any suggestions?
A: Plum curculio is a small “snout beetle” that attacks peaches and plums. Adults overwinter in debris near a fruit tree and emerge in spring. The female lays her eggs in small wounds she carves in the fruit, leading to a clear ooze emerging afterwards. These insects are active primarily at night, which explains why you don’t see them.
Once the eggs hatch, they feed inside the fruit, leading folks to say they find “worms”.
Organic control of plum curculio is nigh impossible. Now and in years to come, use a “home orchard spray” according to label directions.
Note that most of these sprays should not be used during bloom or they will kill pollinating insects. Destroy all blemished fruit. Do not leave on the ground those you pick off.