An Easy-to-Clean Red Ball Trap

Standard

Many gardeners are used to placing red ball traps in apple trees after they bloom to attract and catch apple maggot flies (Rhagoletis pomonella). You simply coat the trap with a glue that doesn’t dry, like Tanglefoot, and the flies, attracted by what looks like a juicy mature apple, remain stuck on it, never having a chance to lay their eggs on the real apples nearby, still small and green. 

Apple maggot problem solved!

The problem, though, is that you have to clean the ball at some point, either in the middle of the season when it becomes full of flies, or at the end. Normally, this is done with a putty knife and it’s sticky, messy and disgusting task! (Read Time to Clean Up Red Ball Traps to learn more.)

But reader Nicole Coulombe suggests a more practical way to use this trap. 

At the beginning of the season, cover the ball with cling wrap (yep, straight from your kitchen!), then coat the film with glue instead of the trap itself. When you need to clean the trip, just remove and dispose of the film, and reapply cling wrap and glue. It’s less disgusting and just as effective, and imagine the time you save!

Why didn’t I think of that?