Codling moth

Codling moth, this moth belonging to the leafrollers has a wingspan of 20 mm and overwinters as a caterpillar in the bark of a tree.

recognize codling moth
Codling moth, photo: Olaf - CC BY-SA 3.0

Codling moth (Cydia pomonella). This moth with a wingspan of 20 mm, belongs to the large family of leafrollers (Tortricidae). The codling moth overwinters as a caterpillar in the bark of a tree. The codling moth lays distinctive, 1-mm-sized shiny eggs on leaves and young fruits. The young caterpillars eat the leaves and the outside of the fruit after which they gnaw their way through the fruit.

Where to find


Photo: Agricultural Research Service – CC Public Domain

Affected apples ripen earlier than usual (precocious). At the spot where the caterpillar has bored itself into the apple, a borehole is visible, covered with discolored apple pulp. Remove infested apples: this reduces the chances of the same caterpillar infesting other apples in the cluster.


Provide birds in the garden: tits like to pick the caterpillars from the bark. Bats also catch codling moths because, like the bats, they are active at night.
A pheromone trap catches the male codling moths, so they cannot fertilize the female moths, so that no eggs are laid. The delta trap is most commonly used in the control of codling moth.
In the professional orchard, nematodes (roundworms) Steinernema carpocapsae are used for biological control (biopesticide) of codling moth.

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