An adult Codling moth is a brown moth that has a wingspan of about 20 mm, the wing tips have a circular area. Eggs are laid on leaves or small fruit at dusk.
Plant Part: Bark, leaves and fruit
Season: Spring and Summer
Symptoms: Fruit may drop prematurely. You may notice a small entry hole on the apple where the larvae entered the fruit, the larvae will feed for 3-5 weeks before tunneling out an exit hole. When you cut open an apple that has been attacked by this pest you will notice the tunnel is brown in appearance and filled with excrement from the caterpillar. When the larvae have finished with the fruit, they will find a bark crevice in the trunk to pupate and form a cocoon. Over the cooler months of the year you can notice these cocoons on the rough bark of the tree trunk.
Control: Destroy all infected fruit and any squash any pupae you may see. Remove loose bark, broken branches and leaf debris to reduce hiding places for cocoons. You can try tree banding or traps.
Prevention: Every winter clean up around your Apple Fruit Salad Tree by removing loose bark and making sure that the mulch is at least 2 inches from the trunk of your apple tree. Apply an application of Eco-oil or Dipel at petal fall and always follow the instructions on the container.
References: NSW Department of Primary Industries and our FST team.
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