Tag Archives: papaya fruit fly protection

Happy Papayas!!

The hot summer is over ~ thank goodness!
Finally, the Papaya trees are showing their joy … and I mean real joy.  So far, there are 6 trees bearing fruit (at different stages) and 5 with blooms.

Tree no. 1, right by my backdoor.

Tree no. 1, right by my backdoor.

Tree no. 2, a little further away.

Tree no. 2, a little further away.

Yes, I’ve run out of hosiery for my poor fruits & definitely need more.  😦

A female tree bearing her 1st round of fruits.

A female tree bearing her 1st round of fruits.

"Baby" Tree only about 4ft tall ~ definitely needs extra care for winter.

“Baby” Tree only about 4ft tall ~ definitely needs extra care for winter.

To give an idea of their average size, I took a photo with my hand sort of holding the base of the fruit.

They average 5-6lbs per fruit.

They average 5-6lbs per fruit.

And now come the questions ~ Does anyone know where I can get really cheap knee length hosiery? Internet? Walmart?  Or is there a better way of protecting papaya from fruitflies & wasps, yet allowing each fruit to get to its maximum size? (I estimate needing about 30 pairs of nylon stockings, heck! I don’t buy that many even for myself!)  All advice will be really appreciated.

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Papayas and their “protective gear”

The Papayas are now speeding up their growth as warm weather approaches.  I usually use  Knee-length hoisery to protect them against fruit-flies but Walmart has run out them for awhile now, so I’ve had to make my own out of frost blankets.

Protected Papayas

Protected Papayas

BUT yesterday, I discovered … oops! wrong size

Undersized "protective gear"

Undersized “protective gear” which had to be cut a little, to remove

Lesson learned:  Treat Papayas like growing kids ~ safer to sew their “wear” 2 sizes bigger, when slipping them on after confirmed pollination, just in case.

Early pre-Spring harvest

Early pre-Spring harvest

The next time I see knee length hoisery on sale, I’m going to buy them by the dozens!!  Nothing like the good old knit to fit.

Papaya in stockings, knit to fit.

Papaya in stockings, knit to fit, any shape, any size.

Papaya Fruit Flies have invaded …

Yes, they’ve found my backyard full of Papaya “babies”. I actually lost 6 nicely growing ones, so after some thought, I’ve decided to Bag my Babes.

Home made papaya bags

Home made papaya bags

I made these bags from used odd sized frost sheets with jute twine ties. I’m using jute as they are fibrous and will not loosen or slip open when simply pulled/tightened around the fruit stem.

Healthy, green baby Papaya

Healthy, green baby Papaya

 

 

A bagged baby papaya

A bagged baby papaya

Frost sheets allows the fruit to get some sun and me to see its progress. When it gets to 80% of its full-size, I will use a stretchable knee-length hose over it as the fruit size will then be able to hold it up nicely.

Babes in Bags

Babes in Bags

For information, the Papaya Fruit Fly (Toxotrypana curvicauda Gerstaecker) is vicious and University of Florida site has details and some very good pics to give an idea.

If you have small yellow ones, get rid of them. I’ve decided to boil them to kill all in there, for safety’s sake (so no re-hatching) and to help reduce their population with no chemicals.

I actually managed to get a photo of this nasty fly sitting on my protective bag.

Papaya fruit fly which will also attack mangoes, plums, etc.

Papaya fruit fly which will also attack mangoes, plums, etc.