Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pear Pests

I took a few minutes to walk around my small orchard yesterday evening and saw these pests on one of the pear trees.
There's the ants, and there are these tiny, green "balls" bunched up at the new growth at the top of the plant.

First, does anyone know what they are?  All the online pictures of pear pests show them fully grown (or at least all I could find in a 10-minute search). 

Second, can I assume they're pests, and not good?  (There I am with this whole white hat-black hat thing again!  In my newbie world, things need to be good or bad.  Shades of grey will come later, with wisdom.) 

Third - what to do about them?  Spray them off with water or soapy water?


  1. I can't see them too well in this photo, but I always associate ants with aphids. Spraying them off with water probably wouldn't hurt, and if it turns out they're something you don't need to worry about, you don't have to do it again!

  2. I agree with Alison. Aphids and the ants who farm them. Hose um. The tree will probably not be too stressed by them but they will mess with the shape and prettyness (is that a word?) of the fruit.

  3. Could the ants possibly be eating/carrying away the eggs/green "balls"? If so, yay for the ants! (But don't go by this, 'cause I know nothing.)

  4. Aphids, most likely. Ladybugs will eat them, so look for ladybugs. If you find some, give 'em a lift to your pear tree. Don't bother importing ladybugs - just attract the locals. You can wash with soapy water.

  5. Aphids! How cool to learn something new today! I love that if I don't get to them immediately, it's not a terrible thing. Now, to find some ladybugs ... you'd think it'd be easy, seeing as how there are piles of dead ones everywhere...