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Click for a FREE estimate
or call 970.484.3084
Dedicated to Tree Preservation in the Urban Forest
Fort Collins Tree Care Fort Collins Tree Care
Click for a free Estimate or call 970.484.3084
Dedicated to Tree Preservation in the Urban Forest
Fort Collins Tree Care
or call 970.484.3084

Damage caused by the codling moth

The larvae of the codling moth tunnels into fruit and makes apples wormy. It is the most important insect pest of apples and pears, and is sometimes found in cherries, peaches and crab apples. The larvae create tunnels in the fruit with brown moth excrement at the entry and exit point of the tunnels.

Codling moth damage to apple fruit Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org

How to identify the codling moth

The adult codling moth (Cydia Pomonella) is about 1/2" long, grayish with white bands.The tips of the wings are a copper color. They are active at night like most moths.

The larvae of the codling moth are creamy white to light pink with a brown or black head. They are often found in pears and apples.

Adult codling moth Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org

Life cycle of the codling moth

Female codling moths lay their eggs on fruit an leaves of the apple and pear tree. The eggs hatch in 6 to 14 days.

The caterpillars start tunneling into the fruit within 24 hours. They tunnel through the fruit to get to the seeds which is their preferred food. When full grown the caterpillars tunnel back out of the fruit and spin a cocoon in the bark or debris at the base of the tree where they pupate over the winter.

Adult codling moths emerge from their cocoons in the spring, mate and lay eggs.

Some codling moths pupate in late spring or early summer and go through a second generation in one year.

colding moth caterpillar Gyorgy Csoka, Hungary Forest Research Institute, Bugwood.org

How to control the codling moth

The codling moths have many natural predators, including wasps, assasin bugs, minute pirate bugs and green lacewing larvae that can be used to control the pest.

The codling moth larvae prefers a protected spot to enter the fruit, like the ends of the fruit or a place where the fruit is touching something. Proper thinning of the fruit, so they don't touch, will reduce the likelyhood of codling moth damage.

Any fruit containing codling moth larvae should be removed and destroyed so those moths don't reach maturity and damage more fruit.

Removing possible pupating areas will reduce the number of codling moths. Mature caterpillars can be attracted to artificial pupating areas made of burlap or cardboard, then destroyed.

Fruits can be protected from codling moth damage by enclosing them in a paper bag when they reach 1/2" to 1" in diameter.

Insecticide sprays applied when the eggs are hatching will greatly reduce the damage from codling moths.

The codling moth granulosis virus applied to the fruits, before the eggs hatch, will kill colding moth larvae and is safe enough to be considered an organic technique.

Codling moth pupae Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

 
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301 E. Douglas Road
Fort Collins, CO 80524
970.484.3084
Fort Collins Tree Care Inc.
301 E. Douglas Road
Fort Collins, CO 80524
970.484.3084
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