Codling moth on apple trees

January 23, 2013 in Blog


Hi @Wombat01, I don’t know how you went getting some tips on dealing with codling moth on the workshop last night, but I do know that the best thing you can do at this time of year is to pick up any fruit that falls and put it in the trash. If you see any apples that are infected pick them off and trash them too.

I’m not sure if you already know, but the caterpillars travel in falling apples and then burrow under ground for winter. Then they head up the tree in spring. So if you pick up the fallen apples as soon as you can you start to break the cycle. If you do this each year it should help to control them.

There’s all sorts of things you can do to help in springtime too. For some tips you can try this link:

3 comments to 'Codling moth on apple trees'

  1. @ecoaction thanks for the tip. I did know about the need for cleanliness around the fruit trees. Sticky traps have not worked for me but this year I have tried a solar powered bug zapper which only goes on at night. I have also tied fine mesh bags arround my apple as a barrier. I cant do this on my quince as there are too many fruit and the tree is quite tall.
    The workshop was interesting but there was nothing specifically about codling moth.

  2. Hi @Wombat01. Well, you obviously know heaps more than I do about it. If you like I can ask the presenter of our Permaculture workshops if she has any advice to offer a long-term codling-moth-battler, though by the sound of it you’re doing most everything you can already.

  3. Hello again @Wombat01, there’s been a few more suggestions from around the office here about what to do to deal with codling moth. One is to run chooks under the trees, if you don’t already. The chooks should eat up anything that falls from the trees.

    The other suggestion is to encourage predator wasps. The most important natural enemy of the codling moth is the Trichogramma micro wasp, which parasitises the moth eggs, by laying its egg inside the moth egg. The wasp larva then feeds on the contents of the moth egg. One female wasp is able to parasitise over 50 moth eggs.

    The adult micro-wasp feeds on insect eggs, nectar, and pollen, so a good food supply means it lives longer. Growing suitable plants under the fruit trees as a pollen and nectar source helps to maintain a population of these beneficial insects. Suitable plants include clover, buckwheat, mustard, Queen Anne’s lace, parsnip, daikon, alyssum, dill, coriander and cosmos.

    Trichogramma wasps are commercially produced in Australia. I did a quick web search and found this site that provides them in Australia:

    Of course, the chooks would eat the beneficial plants, so these two may not work very well together.

    I hope this helps.

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