Have you ever bitten into a juicy guava only to find those nasty little worms wriggling around?
Talk about a ruined treat. Don’t worry; there are some natural ways to get rid of guava worms so you can enjoy your guavas worm-free.
You’ll be happy to know you don’t need to resort to chemical pesticides to outsmart these pesky critters. With a few home remedies and basic techniques, you can save your harvest from worms in your guava fruit.
Guava worms come from the eggs of guava fruit flies . From experience, these worms appear to have a whitish-to-cream color.
The adult female fruit flies lay their eggs in the ripe fruits. Once the eggs hatch, the tiny larvae (maggots) burrow into the flesh of the fruit .
As the larvae feed and grow, they create tunnels and holes in the fruit, which cause the fruit to rot. By the time you notice guava worms in your fruit, the damage has already been done.
What Happens if You Eat Guava with Worms?
If you accidentally eat guava fruit with worms in it, don’t panic. While it’s not ideal, the worms themselves are harmless to humans.
To avoid guava worms in the future, choose an unblemished fruit. Also, wash fruits thoroughly before eating, and cut into the fruit to check for any signs of infestation.
While not appetizing, a few worms in guava are not dangerous, and the fruit is still safe to eat if the worms are removed. But when in doubt, it’s best to discard the fruit. Your health and peace of mind are worth it!
How to Get Rid of Guava Worms Naturally
The best way to prevent worms in guava fruit is to control guava fruit flies (Caribflies) before they lay eggs. Below are some other home remedies and natural solutions that you can try.
1. Pick Guavas Before They Ripen Completely
Picking guavas before they fully ripen is one of the best ways to avoid guava worm infestations.
Guavas that are left on the tree to fully ripen are more prone to guava worm damage. Therefore, by harvesting guavas when they’re still firm, you eliminate the opportunity for the caribfly to lay eggs beneath the guava fruit skin.
The unripe guavas will continue to ripen after picking, but since the eggs were never laid, the fruit will develop free of infestation.
2. Prune Trees
Pruning your guava tree regularly is important for its health and productivity. By pruning, you’re removing dead or damaged branches and improving air circulation and light penetration within the canopy.
Removing pests and diseased plant material, improving airflow, and allowing more sunlight to reach the inner canopy will create an environment less conducive to common guava tree issues.
3. Clean Up Infected Fallen Fruits
One of the easiest ways to control guava worms is to regularly check under guava trees for fallen, infected fruit and clear it away. As the fruit fly maggots emerge from eggs, they burrow into the fruit.
Ripe fruits normally fall off the tree when the wind blows or at the slightest disturbance. Therefore, collect all the fallen fruits around the base of the tree.
Next, seal the collected fruit in plastic bags and throw them in the trash. Removing access to fallen, infested fruit will help break the breeding cycle and reduce future guava worm populations.
4. Fruit Bagging
Fruit bagging involves covering developing fruit with protective bags to prevent guava pests from attacking.
Using mesh bags that still allow light and airflow, bag the developing fruit. Secure the bags over the fruit so there are no entry points for the flies to lay eggs.
Fruit bagging requires more labor but is a natural pest control method used successfully by organic farmers and gardeners.
5. Soapy Water
Soapy water is an easy home remedy for guava fruit flies.
Mix a few drops of liquid dish soap into a spray bottle filled with water. Gently shake or swirl to combine.
Next, spray the soapy water directly onto the leaves, especially in areas where you see the flies congregating.
You can also make a homemade trap by mixing apple cider vinegar with a little dish soap. This will entice the fruit flies, after which they’ll drown when the soap traps them.
6. Basil and Tea Tree Oil Spray
To make a natural spray for guava worms, mix basil and tea tree essential oils.
- 20 drops of basil essential oil
- 20 drops of tea tree essential oil
- One quart of water
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well to mix. Spray your guava tree.
The strong fragrance of basil and tea tree oil naturally deters guava pests and other common garden pests.
This DIY essential oil spray is also non-toxic and safe for spraying directly on edible plants and fruits.
7. Tobacco Spray
Another homemade treatment is to spray a tobacco solution on the guava tree and young fruits. Tobacco contains nicotine, which acts as an insecticide and repellent .
To make a DIY tobacco spray, soak one cup of tobacco in one gallon of water for 24 hours.
Next, strain and spray this solution on the guava tree and fruits. The nicotine in the tobacco will kill the insects present.
However, be sure to wash fruits thoroughly before eating when harvest time arrives.
8. Arber Bio Insecticide
The Arber Bio Insecticide Spray is a natural pest control spray that is suitable as a natural pesticide for your guava tree.
It will help eliminate all kinds of plant pests like fruit flies, codling moths, thrips, guava moths, and more.
9. Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch
Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch is also an all-natural treatment for guava fruit flies. It’s actually a trap with a unique formula that attracts the flies and then traps and kills them.
Follow the instructions that come with your order on how to use it.
So there you have it: some easy and natural ways to deal with those pesky guava worms and enjoy your fruit without the extra protein.
While the worms themselves won’t hurt you, no one wants surprises in their snacks. Now you can feel confident biting into a guava knowing you took steps to prevent infestation.