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Plant Pathology


Codling Moth

Codling moth (CM) is an apple pest introduced from Europe by settlers. It occurs in all known apple growing regions of the United States and is considered to be one of the worst insect problems.

Codling Moth

The adult moth's forewings are gray-brown crossed with lines of light gray and deep gold or bronze wing tips. The wing expansion is about 3/4 in. The larva is white, often tinged with pink, and has a brown head. The length is generally about 1/2 in. when fully developed.

The fully developed larva is the overwintering stage. They survive in silken cocoons in protected places on the bark or ground. Pupation occurs in the spring with moth emergence beginning about the same time as bloom. These moths of the first generation are present throughout April and early May. They lay their eggs just after sundown each night. Eggs are laid singly usually on leaves near developing fruit, or on the fruit. At this time of year, it takes about 2 weeks for eggs to develop. Young larvae bore into fruit generally through the calyx end, feed for about 3 weeks, then exit, spin cocoons and pupate. Brown frass is often noticed near the calyx of the damaged fruits. About two weeks later the second generation of adults emerge, and the cycle begins again. Three generations per season normally occur in Kentucky.

Larval damage.

SCOUT: Two types of damage are caused by CM larvae. The first type is the tunneling in the fruit. This damage completely destroys the fruit's usefulness. Second, the larva may start to tunnel but not enter at that spot. This causes spotting of the fruit, and if it occurs on very small fruit may result in "catfacing". Examine 100 fruit for evidence of codling moth larvae. Pheromone traps should be hung by April 1.

RECORD: The number of codling moths captured in the pheromone trap each week. Mark this entry on your scout form with a "PT". Also, record the number of fruit with entry holes per 100 fruit.

ACTION THRESHOLD: The date of the fifth moth captured in the spring is used as the "biofix", starting date for the degree day model. During the summer, use a threshold of 5 moths per trap per week. See Appendices 3 & 4 for more information on pheromone trapping and the use of degree day models.

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Apple IPM web site created by Kerry Kirk - 2001 - Send questions or comments to Patty Lucas