Codling moth

Class: Insects
Common Name: Codling moth
Scientific Name: Cydia pomonella
Potential Host:

Various fruits but mainly apples


The female moth lays a single egg on fruit, leaf, or stem at night. After hatching, the larvae enter the end or side of the calyx of the fruit and dig to the center. The color of the larva is pink to white, the head is brown, and it can reach one inch in length. The development of the larvae is completed within 3 to 5 weeks. The larvae leave the fruit and settle in the thick silk cocoons on the bark or other protected areas. The adult is about half an inch, gray, with a clear bronze area at the bottom of the wing.

Who Am I?

Codling moth larvae are one of the most destructive pests. Although it can attack various fruits, it mainly damages apples. This is the main pest of apples and needs to be managed in each orchard.

Control Measures

Orchards should be scouted twice a week early in the season and once a week later on.

Monitoring: Use pheromone traps to attract male moths. Traps are made of plastic to create a passage and the bait is placed inside. The inner surface of the bottom is coated with a sticky material to hold insects when they fall into the trap. The traps are hung in on the tree at eye level, one for every two acres of trees. It should be installed before the pink stage of apple bud development and checked every day. A total of five moths captured in the trap is the threshold to set the biofix, this is the day in which growing degree days should start counted. This will be used to predict when egg hatching will occur and to time pesticide application optimally. This usually happens after the petals fall.

Sanitation: Growers should pick up and destroy the fallen fruit. Usually, fruits that fall prematurely may be infested by apple moths.

Mating disruption: spread 20 disruptors every 100 acres.

The following are insecticides used in one or more parts of the world: chlorantraniliprole, acetamiprid, spinetoram, pyriproxyfen and cyantraniliprole.

Horticultural oil and spinosad

The wasps Trichogramma sp. and Ascogaster quadridentata

*Names marked in red are considered to be highly poisonous to beneficial insects.

*Names marked in green are considered to be organic and IPM (integrated pest management) compatible.

Caution and careful notice should be taken when using any plant protection products (insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides). It is the grower’s sole responsibility to keep track of the legal uses and permissions with respect to the laws in their country and destination markets. Always read the instructions written on labels, and in a case of contradiction, work in accordance to the product label. Keep in mind that information written on the label usually applies to local markets. Pest control products intended for organic farming are generally considered to be less effective in comparison to conventional products. When dealing with organic, biologic, and to some extent a small number of conventional chemical products, a complete eradication of a pest or disease will often require several iterations of a specific treatment or combination of treatments.

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