Welcome to my website where I gather information about plant pests and pathogens preying on gardens in my local area in Melbourne. I want to live in harmoney with nature and so I use exclusion techniques and natural predators to protect my edible and ornamental plants instead of using poisonous chemicals...................John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
moths are a major pest on apple trees and morph from the larval phase of their
life cycle in leaf litter under the tree’s canopy, or in crevices in the tree’s
bark. They climb the tree or flutter
upwards from branch to branch (they are poor flyers) to mate in the
foliage. The females lay their eggs on
leaves or directly on the fruit.
The tiny larvae find an apple and start to burrow deep
into the flesh.
the foliage and young fruit in spring with organic horticultural oil. It smothers larvae and eggs before they can
infest the fruit.
Why Codling Moths are a Pest.
moth larvae penetrate apples and pears and eat their way towards the
centre. They don't destroy the fruit, but the frass (excretia) contains
toxic materials, and this can ruin a crop.
Codling moth is very difficult to control because once
its larvae penetrate an apple or pear, they are protected against
the larvae are fully mature they leave the fruit and drop from the trees or
climb down to search out pupation sites and continue the life cycle in the soil
or on debris under the tree. Some crawl
back up the tree to pupate in bark crevices. They pupate in cocoons
during winter and in spring emerge as moths.
moths are only active for a few hours around sunset, and the temperature at
sunset must be higher than 17°C before they will mate. After mating each
female deposits 30 to 70 tiny eggs singly on fruit, leaves, or spurs.
After the eggs hatch, the young larvae seek out and bore into the nearest
Organic Pest Control.
all debris from under the tree in winter. Dispose of the debris by
burying it 500mm under soil which is unlikely to be disturbed for some time, or
cook it in a thermal compost pile.
In spring before the apple blossom opens, spray
the ground under your apple tree's canopy, and its trunk and branches, with organic horticultural oil to smother
the larvae before they morph into moths.
At the same time apply
masking tape to the trunk of the tree about 100mm above the ground and apply a
ring of horticultural glue to stop the adult female moth from crawling up the
tree to mate and lay eggs. The masking
tape protects the tree from the glue, and makes it easy to replace when it gets
covered with dust or dead insects.
As a final precaution, once the fruit sets and the plant comes into leaf,spray the foliage and fruit with more of the organic horticultural oil to smother any eggs which may have got through your defences.
the fruit in late spring when it has set. Check it at least twice a week
looking for the first “stings,” or tiny mounds of reddish-brown frass (excreta)
about 2mm in diameter. If you scrape the
frass away you can see the tiny entry hole where the newly hatched larva has
just entered the fruit. The affected
fruit must be removed and placed in sealable plastic bags. They should
then be cooked in the sun to kill the larvae.
put the contaminated fruit in the compost without killing the larvae first.
Place cotton or paper exclusion bags over the remaining fruit. The
bags must have an effective sealing system.
Spray the foliage with aerated compost tea every month
during the growing season. This increasesthe plant's resistance to
disease and pests by toughening up its foliage.