Apple Trees riddled with Apple Moths

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Apple Trees riddled with Apple Moths

I have a beautiful apple tree which has given us and our neighbourhood a wonderful supply of apples. But this year it has become riddled with apple moths. Can you advise us what to do and when to take action. It would be much appreciated.

The caterpillar of the codling moth can be devastating on apple trees. The grey-brown moth lays its eggs on or near small fruits. The larvae/caterpillar hatch and tunnel into the fruit and as they feed, push out a distinctive brown crumbly excrement. They then leave to pupate (turn from a caterpillar into a moth) leaving marks on the fruit. There can be up to three generations per year.

Controlling codling moth starts at the end of the growing season by carefully removing any fallen and often infected fruit.

Over winter when the tree is dormant spray with lime sulphur, which is an excellent clean up spray for insects and various diseases. Towards the end of winter, remove any loose bark from the tree as this may be harbouring cocoons (where the caterpillars pupate).

In spring, place a Codling Moth Pheromone Trap into your apple tree. You can source these traps from your local garden centre. The trap attracts the male cooling moth and therefore ultimately helps reduce the number of hatching caterpillars. This trap should remain in the tree from September to March, the time the codling moth is active.