Codling Moth Larva

are one of the most destructive pests introduced from Europe by settlers. The female moths lay pinhead sized, disc-shaped transparent white eggs singly on developing fruit stems or leaves just after sundown each night. After hatching the larva enters the calyx or side of the fruit, where they then burrow to the center and feed while they develop. The larva is pinkish white with a brown or black head and can reach about 3 quarters of an inch long. It takes about 3 to 5 weeks for the larva to completely develop. When the larva exits the fruit it will pupate in a thick silken cocoon. After the larva has fully developed it will then sleep over winter.


Homeowners who have one or 2 fruit trees have a few different options for controlling codling moths versus orchard owners. Homeowners can use pheromone traps to time pest control spraying or trap all the male moths. (Here at Zamzows we carry the Tanglefoot Codling Moth Trap. This trap has very detailed instructions to make it very user-friendly). To catch all the males you need to use enough traps so that all the males are caught before they mate. The female moths will then only lay unfertilized eggs. Usually, 2 to 4 traps per tree are needed for this to work.


Once the traps begin catching the moths you can then apply your first application of Bonide All Seasons Spray (which is a dormant oil) or Bonide Fruit Tree Spray. Both are sold at your local Zamzows. These sprays are to be applied with a tank sprayer. Make sure that you completely read the manufacturer’s instructions on the frequency of applications. Remember these sprays will only kill the larva and not unhatched eggs!


When monitoring the traps make sure that all moths are removed and that the glue is stirred. If moths are left in the trap it can reduce the number captured. Traps should be changed about every 5 weeks. If there are not any codling moths in the traps then it is not necessary to apply pest control sprays.

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