Gardening

Codling moth, the fruit worm


The codling moth is commonly referred to as the "fruit worm".

The codling moth (Cydia pomonella) is a butterfly whose larvae mainly attack apples, pears and walnuts, but also other species, which can destroy a crop.

It is in fact most often found on the Apple tree, but also in the pear tree, the walnut, the chestnut or the plum tree.

Codling moth, the fruit worm

When and how should we fight against this enemy of apple and pear trees?

Eliminate codling moth, the fruit worm?

The fight is not very easy, as the period during which this caterpillar is outside the fruit is relatively short and therefore difficult to see.

It seems opportune to leave some damaged fruits on the tree and thus to control the development of the pest without necessarily seeking to eliminate it completely.

This indeed seems almost impossible for the reasons mentioned above.

Note that codling moth mainly affects apple and pear trees.

Fruit worm treatment

The fruit worm, the codling moth, can be overcome in several ways. Mechanical and preventive trap-based control is often the means most used by organic fruit producers who refuse chemical and systemic treatment.

  • Insecticides against codling moth:

Treat at the beginning of May with a bactospéine (biological and vegetable insecticide) which is a specific anti-caterpillar and repeat the operation once, 15 days later.

It is also possible to spray insecticides such as Carpovirusine (preparation based on codling moth virus), which provides good protection for fruit trees.

  • Glue bands:

It is recommended, as a preventive measure, to install strips of glue sold in all garden centers in order to prevent the larvae from taking possession of the trunk of the tree.

These bands are set up in late spring and early summer and should be maintained until the fruit is harvested.

  • Pheromone traps:

Place sex pherormone traps in May to attract male butterflies and therefore limit fertilization.

These traps will limit the proliferation of codling moth by limiting procreation.

Note that professionals in organic culture also use sexual confusion. It is a technique that aims to reproduce the hormonal scent of females using synthetic pheromones. It becomes difficult for the males to find the females which considerably limits the number of spawns.

Pick up fruits that drop before they ripen as they have often been affected by codling moth.

  • Codling moth predators:

Install insect huts and birdhouses for attract animals and birds. They are indeed good predators for these larvae which they delight in.

The best predators are also the birds the most common in our gardens such as the blue tit and the great tit but also the bats that fly at night and catch butterflies.

There are also kits of codling moth traps sold in garden centers which are very effective and can be used for several years in a row.

Smart tip about the fruit worm

Spraying slightly sweetened water (1 to 10g /100 liters of water) has a protective role against codling moth. This would reduce the damage caused by this worm by around 40%!


Other diseases of fruit trees:

  • Fruit fly : Fruits turn brown then wilt.
  • Rust : Pustules brownish brown or orange on the inside and yellow spot on the outside.
  • Crown canker : Emaciated appearance of the trunk which turns brown.
  • Powdery mildew : White felting on the branches then on the leaves.
  • Scab : Brown spots on the leaves then on the fruits

Video: False Codling Moth: South Africas most destructive fruit pest. (October 2020).