Coddling Moth Larve - Knowledgebase Question

Davis, Ca
Question by srarch
February 10, 2010
are all over my raised bed veggi garden..what to do?

Answer from NGA
February 10, 2010


Codling moths overwinter as full-grown larvae within thick, silken cocoons under loose scales of bark and in soil or debris around the base of the tree. The larvae pupate inside their cocoons in early spring and emerge as adult moths mid-March to early April. The moths are only active a few hours before and after sunset and they mate when the sunset temperatures exceed 62?F. After mating each female deposits 30 to 70 tiny, disc-shaped eggs singly on fruit, nuts, leaves, or spurs. After the eggs hatch, young larvae seek out and bore into fruit or developing nuts. After completing development they leave the fruit and drop from the trees to search out pupation sites and continue the life cycle in the soil or on debris under the tree; some crawl back up the tree to pupate in bark crevices. The rate of development will vary with temperature, proceeding more rapidly in warmer weather and climates. Depending on the climate, codling moth can have two, three, and sometimes four, generations per year. If you can actually see the cocoons, you can collect and destroy them. As long as they are inside their cocoons, they are not susceptible to chemical control. A moderately effective material for controlling codling moth and other caterpillars is spinosad. This is a biological product made from a naturally occurring bacterium called Saccharopolyspora spinosa. It is a low-toxicity material that is safe for most beneficial insects as well as for people, pets, and the environment. However, it only lasts for about 10 days. The first spring generation may require 2 to 3 sprays applied at 10 to 14 day intervals and beginning at egg hatch. This is a relatively new material, but it is available through retail outlets under various trade names, including Monterey Garden Insect Spray or Green Light Spinosad Lawn & Garden Spray. Be sure to apply according to label directions.

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