Since we "inherited apple trees" with our property...WE'VE NOT EATEN ONE APPLE from our own trees!!!! (in 8 years!!!) WHAT? your asking. WHEN CRITTERS INFEST your trees...they're EXTREMELY HARD TO GET RID OF...when you opt for the NON-CHEMICAL solution.
In the ORGANIC line of thinking - you have to BREAK THE INSECT CYCLE. Yes - I could throw a NEO-NICOTINIDE at the trees and likely kill everything and be done with it in ONE APPLICATION. BUT - I KEEP BEES IN THAT SAME AREA!!!!
hence...resolution #2 - KEEP AHEAD of the critters this year. SPRAY WEEKLY.
Here's a recipe for DORMANT OIL SPRAY - a non-toxic spray applied in either and or both fall and spring - it SMOTHERS overwintering bug EGGS. apply 40 degrees or above. REPEAT WEEKLY - DO NOT spray when flower buds or blossoms are on the tree!
ORIGINAL RECIPE (orchard):
1 Gallon Mineral Oil (in the walmart pharmacy area, fleet farm health & beauty area)
1 lb. Oil Based Soap (granular)...this is like a "baby" FLAKE laundry detergent...DREFT
1/2 Gallon Water
BOIL & MIX WELL
to spray - DILUTE 1 part Homemade Mix to 20 parts Water
REALISTIC RECIPE (for a couple/half dozen trees):
1/8 Gallon (2 Cups Mineral Oil)
1/8 lb. FLAKE Soap (2 oz)
1/16 Gallon (1 Cup) Water
SPRAY LIBERALLY until FLOWER BUDS/FLOWERS begin. THE PRIMARY APPLICATION IS TO THE BARK (TRUNK, TWIGS) and leaves. (avoid the fruit when possible - a little overspray, ok) This should be thought of as a TREE spray - not a FRUIT spray.
When fruit begins to set (.5"/1"....you can continue spraying weekly. You can also switch for this "fruiting period" to a plain SOAPY WATER SOLUTION (dish soap recipe readily found online). It's the mineral oil in this recipe that gives a little "longevity" against the rain...
This recipe when diluted properly is very mild. I tried this recipe last year - and it's failure was MINE...I was not diligent about applying weekly.