Codling moth

Written by   Orchard plant protection guide

The codling moth is favoured by warm, dry growing conditions between spring and autumn.
Eggs are laid around dusk when the temperature is 16C or higher and the air is calm.

A warm spring speeds up the development of eggs and larvae.
The number of generations (two or three in New South Wales) depends on the temperature during the season. Warm autumn conditions increase the risk of late infestation.
A tell-tale sign of codling moth presence is frass (sawdust like material) at the point where the moths have entered the fruit.
Non-pesticide management
Various measures can be taken to improve management of codling moth.
The effectiveness of these measures depends on the size of the orchard block.
Larger blocks
For larger blocks or where area-wide management is being practised, mating disruption is a good alternative.
This technique uses commercial dispensers to emit massive amounts of pheromones into the orchard air. This confuses male moths which are then unable to find female moths with which to mate.
Smaller or isolated blocks
For smaller or isolated blocks (or to supplement mating disruption), other management strategies may be effective, although often time-consuming.
Thorough monitoring of the orchard every second week, beginning at 42–56 days after bloom, allows for removal and destruction of any infested fruit.
Fallen fruit should be picked up and destroyed as soon as possible, or alternatively fallen fruit should be thrown into the centre of the row for mulching.
Scraping loose bark from trees removes overwintering sites.
Although natural predators of codling moth are not totally effective in controlling populations, they should be encouraged by the use of ‘soft’ sprays where possible.

See this article in Tree Fruit Nov 2019

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