Insects

Codling Moths

Codling Moths
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This 1 inch long caterpillar, with a white or pinkish body and a dark head, is one of the most stubborn orchard pests. The damage is worse during warm, dry springs.

Target: Fruit and nut trees, especially apple, pear, and walnut.

Damage: Fruit is tunneled and often drops prematurely; the caterpillar may still be inside.

Life cycle: Coppery-banded moths lay eggs in spring when host trees are in bloom. After hatching, caterpillars tunnel to the core of the developing fruit or nut. They eventually burrow out, leaving excrement, then drop to the ground or crawl down the trunk to pupate in cocoons under loose bark or in debris. There are two to four generations a year.

Notes: Bt is effective only during the brief period before larvae enter fruit. A collar is the best means of trapping overwintering larvae. To ensure that the pests use the collar, make it the most attractive choice: scrape the bark smooth so the larvae won’t pupate under bark flaps.