Neem spray controls pear and cherry slug

by Christina
(Victoria, Australia)

I have had great success in making up my own neem spray to use on my pear, cherry, plum and ornamental cherry trees.

I am a soap maker and therefore I have lots of soap shavings left over. I dissolve a handful in boiling water and let it cool to hand hot. I use a 1%-2% dilution of neem oil to water and add the soapy water. (Make sure you include the amount of water used to work out your dilution rate).

It works fantastic, slowly killing these pesky slugs over a period of 5-6 days. I read that spraying it on the ground beneath the trees also prevents these bugs from hatching. My infestation has reduced by 80% since I sprayed them for the first time last year. I love it. If you add a good handful of builder's lime it is even more effective.

I will try the neem spray without the lime to spray my cabbages for white butterfly this year. The good thing is that it only works on leaf eating bugs therefore good bugs are usually not affected.

By the way, you also need to spray any ornamental cherry blossoms and all plum trees as the slugs love these as well. I really hopes it will help to solve your problems with pear slug. :)

Comments for Neem spray controls pear and cherry slug

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Neem oil on cherry and pear slug
by: Birgit

Thank you, Christina!
Glad you are seeing such good success, and thanks for sharing it with us.

I had a reader question about cherry slug recently and could not answer it since I have no experience with them and could not find anything written anywhere either.

Cherry tree
by: Denise

Thanks so much, I have a miniature cherry tree and the leaves are being eaten. Going to try the neem oil

Additional weapons against some insects like cherry slugs and a question about wasps eating them if sprayed.
by: Felicity Grey

Loving all the info about Neem...however, this is another option that worked for us. We suddenly had oak and cherry slugs on all relevant trees! I found you could spray poisons (not our first choice!) or dust the tree with ash... since the cherry trees are huge, we'd need a helicopter. Seemed overkill and expensive! (Though probably fun!)

We also had what are called yellow-jackets - people in the US call them 'bees' but they are wasps, of course. Wasps are predators of various sorts, so we placed some tins (cans) with small amounts of tuna in them in and around the trees. That attracted the wasps, and when they'd finished the fish course, they went on to demolish all the slugs and we have only had the odd straggler since. Lovely! (We don't find the wasps a problem to us unless we accidentally disturb or touch a nest, and even then it's a single sting (use acid on wasp-stings, ammonia or baking soda on bee stings, BTW)

Last year we suddenly had coddling moths in our previously clean apples. I was going to go the tuna route, but will now try neem as well! All weapons to be used... however, should I assume that if a wasp sucks on a sprayed coddling moth larva, it will die? That seems mean, though we do have quite a few. But others may want to add wasps to their war on cherry and oak slugs!

I like your approach! And I can't answer the question I am afraid. (It's not like someone has done that study, or would be interested in funding that kind of study ;) )
I imagine it could harm the wasp. It would depend how long ago that larva was sprayed. Neem is not stable, it will break down in a few hours.

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