Its June and your seeing the first baby fruits on your Sugar apple tree – suddenly as you check your sugar apples – oh no! They have turned black.
Frustrated and confused because how could one of your precious sugar apples rot when you were doing everything right?
Look no further – Here is why your sugar apples are turning black.
The Sugar Apple Turns Black Because Of The Annona Seed Borer a ‘Sugar Apple Pest’
The Annona Seed Borer or also known as the ‘Chalcid Wasp’ Is an Annona pest in Florida that burrows its way into Sugar Apples. Once they manage to infest the sugar apple they lay their eggs in the tiny seeds. This process creates a fungus in the sugar apple turning it black & hard. The process of the sugar apple turning black is known as ‘Mummification’.
The Annona Seed Borer will crawl out of the black sugar apple and attack other Sugar apples, so its important to take care of this problem in your garden to ensure the best sugar apple harvest.
The Sugar Apple Turns Black Because Of Too Many Sugar Apples on one tree
If you perform hand pollination on your tree and the tree is too small to hold many fruits – it will naturally turn some black so it can focus on a few.
This occurs more often in trees that are still young (3 or less years) that are over (artificially) pollinated.
How Can I prevent my Sugar Apples From Turning Black?
Enable to prevent your sugar apples from turning black you will need to follow the following steps
- Remove all Mummified Black sugar apples from the tree and the base of the tree. (This is very important to stop the cycle of the wasp)
- Cover your healthy sugar apples with a protective bag. We recommend these bags from amazon.
- Make sure to throw any black sugar apples far away from the tree.
Are there any Pesticides or Sprays I Should Use?
There is currently no-spray available on the market to combat the Annona seed borer (chalcid wasp). By removing black mummified sugar apples from your yard and bagging the fruit it provides excellent defense for your sugar apples.
How does the Annona Seed Borer (Chalcid Wasp) Look Like?
Below is an image from Annona Breeding Projects Instagram of the chalcid wasp.
The wasp itself is very small and has potential to pierce