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Plant Pathology


Oriental Fruit Moth

Oriental fruit moth (OFM) is a major tree fruit pest, first introduced into the United States about 1913. This insect is found in all peach growing regions throughout the U.S., Southern Canada and Northern Mexico. Although OFM is generally considered to be a pest of peach, late season populations can have a severe impact on "late" apples.

Eggs are small, flat, oval discs, usually opaque and white in color. As they mature, the eggs will turn a brownish red. Newly hatched larvae are cream colored with an elongated black head. When full sized, larvae will be about 1/3 inch long and appear as pink tinged cream colored worms with a brown head. Adults are small, rather nondescript moths about 1/4 inch long. Their color is mottled gray and white giving a "salt and pepper" appearance.

Partially grown larvae pass the winter in cracks and crevices on trees and in litter. Pupation occurs in early spring with adults emerging near bloom time. Generation time and the number of generations per year are extremely variable in Kentucky. Populations may be very large early, but it is usually the later populations in August and September that affect apples.

First generation larvae bore into growing shoots or fruits, while later damage is very similar to Codling moth injury. OFM larvae may enter apples at the calyx end feeding on the interior of the apple or simply take a bite out of the apple and move to another site. This type of damage is often referred to as a "sting" or "false entry" and can reduce the quality of the fruit.

SCOUT: For OFM by using Pheromone traps to capture adults and by examining apples for damage around the calyx end.

RECORD: The number of moths captured per trap each week. (Mark this entry with "PT") The number of damaged fruit per 100 examined on each tree.

ACTION THRESHOLD: See Appendices 3 & 4 for information on pheromone trapping.

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