Author Topic: Codling moth in apples  (Read 5601 times)

rogerzilla

  • When n+1 gets out of hand
Codling moth in apples
« on: 16 May, 2021, 08:31:59 am »
My apple trees used to do well but, in the last 4 years, every apple has been infested by codling moth larvae.  The traps do bugger all except tell me that there are lots of moths about.

So I need to spray them right about now (petals are falling).  What doesn't decimate the bee population or render the apples toxic?
Hard work sometimes pays off in the end, but laziness ALWAYS pays off NOW.

Re: Codling moth in apples
« Reply #1 on: 16 May, 2021, 09:47:26 am »
I know this doesn't really help, but then, it is the internet so you cannot really expect more, but I have found the traps work well for me.  I also have a plum and green gauge trees and the plum moth traps control the grubs in them too.  The traps used to be sold as a control method for the moths but now they only market themselves as a monitoring tool.  When they were first on sale about 20 years ago you got two sticky pads and rubber pheromone thingys, now you just get one.  I don't know what the answer is because, like you, I don't want to start spraying (read some of Dave Goulson's books for a better and very readable insight on the sprays) I did find that it took a few years for the number of codling moth grubs to decrease, but decrease they did and are now rare whereas before I used the traps they were in every apple (and plum)

Re: Codling moth in apples
« Reply #2 on: 17 May, 2021, 08:44:52 am »
I'll ask my next door neighbour. They keep bees and he was until recently in charge of the apple orchards at Askham Brian.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

rogerzilla

  • When n+1 gets out of hand
Re: Codling moth in apples
« Reply #3 on: 17 May, 2021, 08:57:38 am »
Thanks.  The time to spray is, apparently, now (or at least when it stops raining).
Hard work sometimes pays off in the end, but laziness ALWAYS pays off NOW.

Re: Codling moth in apples
« Reply #4 on: 17 May, 2021, 05:09:51 pm »
Ok had a chat with the neighbours. They said its quite hard and you need a multi pronged attack but you can do it (they are organic gardeners as well so don't spray).

1) Garden hygiene - you must pick up all the tiny apples that the trees drop early in the season. The trees drop these as they have too many to bring to maturity and it seems often drop the ones with codling moth.

2) Pheromone traps - they do work but you need to put them up in the autumn not now. The female moth cant fly but the male can and its the male that you are trying to trap before they mate in the autumn. Also you need lots of traps a couple wont do it.

3) Blue tits - smear fat for blue tits on the trees (reasonably high up or you will get rats) the kind from fat balls. Also blue tit nesting boxes. The more blue tits you can encourage into your apple tress  the better they will eat the fat but also search out the female coddling moths and their larva in the cracks and crevices in the trees.

Without sprays you wont eradicate the moths but you can get it down to an acceptable level apparently. They get enough apples from their trees for eating and to make some pretty good cider (Tim used to run the cider making at Ampleforth as well).
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Codling moth in apples
« Reply #5 on: 17 May, 2021, 10:50:02 pm »
Just happened on this - watching with interest as I have a load of apple trees and my attempts to make cider last year failed because most of the apples were full of bugs. Quite possibly these moth things.

rogerzilla

  • When n+1 gets out of hand
Re: Codling moth in apples
« Reply #6 on: 18 May, 2021, 07:47:44 am »
Thanks - I think it's climate change and species migration (red lily beetle has made growing lilies almost impossible around here now).

These are two old but small trees in a patio - more than two traps would look ridiculous!
Hard work sometimes pays off in the end, but laziness ALWAYS pays off NOW.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: Codling moth in apples
« Reply #7 on: 28 November, 2021, 07:40:22 am »
I've done a major job this autumn in clearing away the growth under the trees, the apple out front has always had clear space under it and never gets any bugs, so clue number one.

As for lily beetles, little red gits, I may just give up as they end up looking very pitiful   
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens