By Becca Badgett
(Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden)
Codling moth control, or controlling the apple worm, is of utmost importance to those who make a living from growing apples and to those who have home orchards. Codling moth traps can be used to determine the presence of the codling moth caterpillar. Controlling codling moth is essential for the health of apple trees and other fruit trees, which can be invaded by larvae of the codling moth caterpillar.
Codling Moth Lifecycle
The codling moth lays eggs which are tiny and nearly transparent. Eggs hatch in 8 to 14 days, becoming larvae, the damaging codling moth caterpillar. The larva enters the apple or other fruit, chewing as they proceed to the core. After digesting the fruit, it is released as frass (excrement) that spills from the entrance hole, making the fruit highly undesirable. Codling moth control is needed to eliminate this unpleasant scenario.
Larvae overwinter in silken cocoons near the tree or orchards. Controlling codling moth can partially be accomplished by good cultural practices, such as removing brush piles, decaying fruit and other favorite, overwintering habitats of larvae of the codling moth caterpillar.
Codling Moth Control
Codling moth traps, containing pheromones (sexual hormones), that attract the codling moth can be used to determine the location where codling moth control is needed. Hang the sticky traps in fruit trees during the normal months of emergence. This varies by location, but usually begins as the flower petals fall from the apple tree. Emergence can continue for 8 weeks and may reoccur in late summer.
Locating the codling moth quickly after its emergence is important, as it only takes a few days until the moth begins the cycle of laying eggs, which become the damaging larvae. Apply chemical codling moth control one week after the traps fill with moths.
Birds are important predators of this insect and an important means of codling moth control. Provide water and birdseed in the area to make them welcome and encourage them to stay close to the orchard.
Remove fruits from the ground and from the tree that exhibit entrance or exit holes of the codling moth caterpillar. A combination of these practices can result in healthy, blemish free fruit that is attractive to your customers and your family.