Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Booty Sock Bounty

The battle against codling moth and other fruit boring, chomping, egg-laying and otherwise destructive insects leads people to do some pretty extreme things including spraying pesticides repeatedly throughout the summer disrupting the predator/prey balance, and introducing chemicals into a gardeners personal food supply. If you choose to use hormone traps and spray once this works well with one problem......if your timing is off.

I have a solution for all larger fruit which recycles a readily available resource and will protect your apples, pears, plumbs, peaches, quinces and all other tree fruits from the ravages of insects.

The answer:  Booty Socks

The booty sock is the little sock that shoe stores provide to their customers for trying on shoes.  They are disposable and are thus thrown away - by the hundreds - every day. 

Just like the rules for coffee grounds you want to start setting up your supply now in preparation for spring.  When dealing with booty sock suppliers also use discretion and be polite. I have had some store managers who don't get it and react almost violently to my asking (they probably suspect some nefarious purpose.  Like I could even pull on of those things over my head to hold up a convenience store!)

After acquiring several hundred wash them all at once using a sterilizing laundry soap. 

You will need:

one booty sock per fruit per tree
one orthodontic braces rubber band per booty sock

Slip the rubber band over the young fruit just after it has set.  Slide the booty sock over the fruit next then roll the sock into the rubber band to create a firm roll-up seal.  The result is an expanding fine mesh net that keeps the moths from laying eggs and allows the fruit enough sun and air circulation to develop properly.

No chemical spraying or expensive traps or extension agents necessary. 

Best of all it's FREE!


  1. Incredible tip--thanks! How well does it work? I would guess that some bugs could pierce the socks.

  2. hmm. food service and many factories have head cap hair nets. Maybe you could ask a local food factory to set up a trash container for just that and collect them very regularly and wash them up your self.
    I did save mine and put over pots, but maybe a few plants a time in a row. I Hate those white moths. Insects that gets to vines.
    And that white foam on plants in the spring.

    And works good too for rabbits and deer, though they will even eat it or pull it. they are not dumb.

    Great post. thanks