Hi, my name is: Codling Moth

Describe yourself: Man… I have the best sense of humour! Ready… “What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple?” “Finding half a worm in your apple!!!” That joke’s about me, well, me, when I was a little tacker! Now that I am all grown up I am a pretty handsome fella, grey coloured, with light grey and copper colour on my wings… which are a pretty impressive 20mm across!

Hobbies: Laying pin head sized eggs after dark, munching right into the middle of fruit, pupating in loose bark, breeding!

Likes: Well, as a young kid I love apples, pears, quinces and crabapples. My dad loves cheap sherry and port, and mum loves laying eggs when the temperature gets over 15 degrees at night time. Mum really loves it when the trees have just finished flowering, it makes her want to have babies!

Dislikes: Clean trees and gardens, chooks, when people remove fruit with holes in it. I hate soaps – like home made chilli soap, or store bought stuff (like Beat-a-Bug). I can’t stand Dipel… this stuff makes me sick! There are also codling moth traps (Desire) which I am a real sucker for. Dad can’t really handle his port and sherry!

You’ll know you’ve met me when: Your fruits (especially apples) will be riddled with holes, brown and squishy on the inside, and will fall of the tree really early!

Breaking up ain’t hard to do… if:

  • You pay attention to the timing. If you catch boys in a sherry trap (a jar filled with sherry and hung in a tree) the girls are about to lay eggs
  • Using Dipel at the right time (ie: when the eggs are laid but the fruit not infested)
  • Inspect the trees every few days, collect any fruit you find with small holes and destroy it by placing it in a sealed, black plastic bag in the sun. Or feed it to the chooks!
  • Remove loose bark and leaf debris from the tree, to reduce hiding places for cocoons.
  • Put bags around the fruit on your trees

Photographs:

Banner image:  Picture taken by Olaf Leillinger [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

Pic1: Courtesy of Western Australian Dept. of Agriculture
Pic2: Courtesy of Meredith Nursery
Pic 3: www.biology_blog.com
Pic 4: www.greenharvest.com.au Description: Desire Coddling Moth Trap