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Trapping Codling Moths

 

                                             Anyone who grows apples for the pleasures of eating them - fresh from the tree or in sauces, cakes and pies knows that dealing with codling moths can be a real pain.

 Commercial growers begin spraying with petal fall and spray every two weeks until they pick. That is why apples have more chemicals than any other fruit we buy.

Scientists have determined that the codling moths appear with petal fall. The scientists have a degree day formula to determine when the next hatch will come. Here is western South Dakota that is very close to the summer equinox. (Also the moths like to fly in moonlight.)

I have been spraying my apples after petal fall, at the full moon closest to June 22 and again a month later. This gets about 80% of the worms. Codling moth control was difficult in 2014 because the full moon was so early in the month and we had a colder spring.

I also use Tangle Foot of Tangle Trap, a gooey substance like pine tar.. You can get this at the hardware store or the local nurseries. I wrap duck tape around the trunk of the tree about two feet from the base with the stickey side out, then cover the tape with Tangle Foot or Tangle Trap. When the apples fall of the tree and the worms crawl out, they get stuck trying to go back up the tree. If a person had animals (deer work really well!!) to eat all the fallen apples, you don't need to wrap the tree.

There are phermone traps that orchard growers use. These have the female scent of the moths and you hang them in your trees to sdetermine your populatin of moths.

Joe Hillberry, Pennington County Master Gardener 

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Here is another gardener's method of dealing with codling moths... In a clean gallon milk jug add 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cut up banana peel. Fill jug with water so it is 3/4 full. Hang one jug on the lowest branch of the tree when blooms start to appear and through the late bloom and petal fall. Replace as necessary.

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