Codling Moth (Cydia pomonella)

Codling moth is a major insect pest of apples and other fruits and nuts worldwide. It is the proverbial and the ecological "worm in the apple." Its larva damages fruit by feeding on the seeds at the core. As with other insects whose larvae burrow within fruit, for most of its life, codling moth is safe inside the apple, and by no means can it be controlled during this phase except by removing and disposing of the fruit.

Painting:  Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve (1517, Holbein)

1   Introduction

Codling moth has been known since antiquity and has spread from one apple-growing region to another in infested fruit.

This paper is about confronting this pest from the point of view of a back-yard orchardist who cannot lavish full-time attention upon detecting and defeating it and who does not have access to techniques applicable to large-scale commercial apple culture.

The back-yard grower is at considerable disadvantage from the start because his crop must be brought to harvest in the presence of neglected culinary and ornamental trees on his neighbors' property. It is from these nearby sources of infestation that codling moth invades his premises and establishes itself there.

In addition to outlining the lifestages of the codling moth and describing horticulture tactics to minimize its impact, this paper describes chemical control strategies. Successful use of chemical control requires applying sprays at the right time, so this paper also describes tracking the weather and demonstrates using an extension to a computer program for home weather-stations.

Nota bene: The software extension is in its first release, and its use must be considered experimental.