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Codling Moth


Common name:
Codling Moth

Scientific name: Order Lepidoptera, family Tortricidae, Carpocapsa pomonella

Size: Adult--3/4", larva--about 1"

Identification: Adult moths are grayish brown with lacy brown lines on the forewings. Larvae are pink with brown heads. Eggs are flat, white, and laid singly on leaves, twigs, and fruit buds.

Biology and life cycle: Two generations per year. Overwinter as a full-grown pink larvae in thick silken cocoon in mulch or on bark.

Habitat: Orchards and forests.

Feeding habits: Larvae enter apples, pears, quince, hawthorns, crabapples, and walnut at the blossom end. When grown, they tunnel out, leaving brown waste. The second brood eats fruits from any end. They eat large holes from the blossom end or side down to the core and ruin the fruit

Economic importance: Destruction of fruit crops.

Natural control: Braconid wasps, trichogramma wasps, and naturally occurring microorganisms. Birds, especially woodpeckers, and ground beetles.

Organic control: Pheromones and pheromone traps.

Insight: In the past this insect has been one of the hardest pests to control. Pheromones and pheromone traps have mostly eliminated the problem. The codling moth was accidentally introduced into North America. Like other introduced pests, natural enemies didn't come along with them. It may take nature many years to regain a natural balance.


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