Codling Moths
Codling Moths
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"Codling moths" (CM) are an important insect pest of fruit trees. Damage is done by the larvae feeding inside the fruit and is the common “worm” found in a wormy apple or pear. They are first seen when apple trees are blooming. CM are an iridescent grey color with a brown patch that contains dark gold colored markings at the tip of the forewing. They are active at dawn and dusk while staying camouflaged on the bark of trees at other times.
The larvae overwinter in a thick silken cocoon in a protected spot such as under loose bark. The moths emerge from the cocoon, mate and then females lay eggs on leaves and fruit. The eggs of codling moths first hatch of the season begins at petal fall and continues for several weeks. The newly hatched larvae search for fruit to enter, where they feed and develop. The larvae go through 5 stages in 3 to 5 weeks. During this time they feed on the developing seeds. When the larvae leave the fruit they make their cocoon.
Most injury is usually produced by the second generation which begins in early summer. Damage is confined to the fruit as the larvae and moths cause little or no damage to any other parts of the plant. There are parasites and predators that feed on codling moth larvae but they cannot keep them from destructive levels. To monitor flight activity of the moths use pheromone traps; this will help when determining when to spray insecticides.