How to Get Rid of Codling Moths (Natural & Organic Methods) - Organic Daily Post

How to Get Rid of Codling Moths (Natural & Organic Methods)

By Sabrina Wilson / July 27, 2022

to apples

Codling moth larvae Tunnel into apples, leaving a brownish, meandering trail that may be visible on the surface of the fruit. The larvae are often found in the core of apples. Heavily infested apples often drop early from the tree.

The caterpillars of the codling moth, Cydia pomonella (L.), are one of the most destructive pests of apples, pears, and walnuts worldwide. In Washington, the codling moth is the key pest of apples, causing millions of dollars in crop losses each year. A tiny caterpillar, about the size of a grain of rice when fully grown, does the damage. The codling moth overwinters as a full-grown caterpillar inside a silken cocoon in cracks and crevices of tree bark. In spring, the caterpillars emerge and begin feeding on leaves. In early summer, they begin to bore into apples, where they spend the rest of their larval stage. The caterpillars tunnel through the apple flesh, leaving a brownish, meandering trail that may be visible on the surface of the fruit. The larvae are often found in the core of apples. Heavily infested apples often drop early from the tree.

As the larvae mature, they exit the apples and spin silken cocoons under loose bark or in other protected sites on the tree. Within a week or so, adult moths emerge from the cocoons and mate. Females lay eggs singly on apple leaves, twigs, or fruit. The entire codling moth life cycle--from egg to adult--can be completed in as little as 4 weeks under favorable conditions. There may be several generations of codling moths each year in Washington.

There are many reasons to prefer natural or organic methods for getting rid of codling moths. One reason is that these methods are often more effective than chemical treatments. Another reason is that they are less likely to harm people, animals, and the environment. Natural methods also tend to be less expensive than chemical treatments.

One of the most effective natural methods for getting rid of codling moths is to introduce their natural predators into the area. One predator that is effective against codling moths is the Trichogramma wasp. These wasps lay their eggs inside the codling moth eggs. When the wasp larvae hatch, they eat the moth eggs.

Another effective natural method is to use traps. There are two main types of traps that are effective against codling moths: pheromone traps and sticky traps. Pheromone traps use a synthetic version of the codling moth's sex pheromone to lure the moths into the trap. Sticky traps are coated with a sticky substance that traps the moths when they land on the trap.

Natural or organic methods are preferable for getting rid of codling moths because they are more effective, less harmful, and less expensive.

Beneficial Nematodes

To get rid of codling moths, mix 1 packet of beneficial nematodes with 2 gallons of water and pour it over the affected area. The nematodes will enter the soil and seek out the codling moth larvae. Once they find them, they will release a bacteria that will kill the larvae. Repeat this process every 2 weeks until the codling moths are gone.

Neem Oil

To use neem oil to get rid of codling moths, you will need to purchase neem oil at your local store. You will also need to purchase a spray bottle. Fill the spray bottle with neem oil and water. The ratio should be 1/2 neem oil and 1/2 water. Shake the bottle to mix the two together. Spray the neem oil mixture on the codling moths. The neem oil will kill the codling moths.

Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is made from a soap solution and water. The most commonly used soap is potassium soap, but insecticidal soaps can also be made from other soap solutions. Insecticidal soap works by weakening the protective coating on an insect's body, causing it to dehydrate and die.

To use insecticidal soap to get rid of codling moths, start by mixing 1 tablespoon of soap with 1 gallon of water. Then, fill a spray bottle with the mixture and spray the plants that are infested with the moths. Next, cover the plants with a plastic sheet and let the mixture sit for 2 hours. Finally, remove the plastic sheet and rinse the plants with water.

Horticultural Oil

Insecticidal soap is made from potassium salts of fatty acids and is used to kill pests on plants. The soap works by breaking down the cell walls of the insects, causing them to dehydrate and die. Insecticidal soap is safe for use around children and pets, and will not harm plants.

Horticultural oil is a great way to get rid of codling moths, and it is easy to use! Just mix 2 tablespoons of horticultural oil with 1 pint of water and put it in a spray bottle. Then, spray the mixture onto the leaves of your plants where you see the codling moths. The oil will kill the moths and their larvae, and it is safe for your plants!

FAQ

1. What are codling moths?
Codling moths are small moths that are typically brown or gray in color. They are a major pest of apples and pears, as the larvae of the moth feed on the fruit of these trees.

2. Where do codling moths come from?
Codling moths are native to Europe, but they have been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America, where they have become a serious pest of apples and pears.

3. How do codling moths damage fruit?
The larvae of the codling moth feed on the flesh of apples and pears, causing the fruit to become bruised and deformed. In severe cases, the larvae can completely consume the fruit, leaving only the skin behind.

4. What is the life cycle of a codling moth?
The codling moth has a typical moth life cycle, with eggs being laid on the surface of apples and pears. The eggs hatch into larvae, which then burrow into the fruit to feed. The larvae pupate inside the fruit, and the adult moths emerge to mate and lay more eggs.

5. How can codling moth damage be prevented?
The best way to prevent codling moth damage is to remove any infested fruit from the tree as soon as possible. This will help to keep the population of codling moths in check and prevent further damage to the fruit.

6. How can codling moth infestations be treated?
If codling moths are already present in an area, there are a few methods that can be used to control them. Pheromone traps can be used to lure the moths into a trap, where they will be killed. Insecticides can also be used, but they must be applied carefully to avoid harming other insects or animals.

7. Are there any natural predators of codling moths?
There are a few predators of codling moths, including some types of wasps and flies. These predators help to keep the population of codling moths in check and can be helpful in controlling infestations.

8. What kinds of fruit are most susceptible to codling moth damage?
Apples and pears are the most common hosts for codling moth larvae, but the moths can also infest other types of fruit, such as peaches, plums, and cherries.

9. How can I tell if my fruit has been damaged by codling moths?
The most common sign of codling moth damage is larvae inside the fruit. The fruit may also appear to be bruised or deformed. If you suspect that your fruit has been damaged by codling moths, you should check it carefully for signs of infestation.

10. What should I do if I find codling moth damage on my fruit?
If you find codling moth damage on your fruit, you should remove the infested fruit from the tree immediately. This will help to prevent the spread of the moths to other fruit. If you have a large infestation, you may need to contact a pest control professional for assistance.


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About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is an author and homemaker who is passionate about a holistic approach to health. When she is not writing she can be found tooling around in her garden with the help of her appropriately named dog Digby, bicycling in the park, and occasionally rock climbing…badly. Sabrina is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

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