Codling Moth Information Support
Why is this insect called the "Codling Moth"?
"Codling" is a name for elongated, greenish
English cooking apples. The name "Codling Moth" was given to this
moth, Cydia pomonella, by B. Wilkes in 1747 in his book "The
English Moths and Butterflies" (Book I, Class I, No. 9, P. 5).
What is the Economic Importance of this insect?
The codling moth is the most widely distributed key pest of cultivated
pome fruits and walnuts in the world. Apple being its preferred host,
this insect has followed its cultivation around the world. When uncontrolled,
this pest is capable of annually destroying 80- 95% of an apple crop and
40-60% of a pear crop.
Where is the Native Home of Codling Moth?
Codling Moth is native to southeastern Europe.
Can codling moth migrate long distance?
Only a small percentage of codling moth females migrate distances over
100 meters (Widbolz & Baggolini 1959, Whalon & Croft 1985, Prokopy
et al. 1991). However, migration distances of 300 meters or more have been
noted in arid habitats (White et al. 1973).
How did Codling Moth Spread all over the world?
Due to unrestricted movements of fresh fruits from one country to another
in the past, this insect gradually spread to uninfested areas, ultimately
becoming cosmopolitan. It seems that the most common mode of its
spread from one place to another has been through the transport of infested
fruit and the packing material. Codling moth has remarkable ability to
adjust to climatic and trophic conditions. Besides apples, the codling
moth can develop on other pome fruits such as pear and quince, on stone
fruits such as apricot, plum and peaches as well as on walnuts (Newcomer
and Whitcomb 1925), apricot, almond, pecan nuts and pomegranates (Nel 1985).
Briefly describe the biology of codling moth?
The codling moth overwinters as a mature larva beneath tree bark scales
or at the base of the tree. Adults appear about full bloom of Red
Delicious apples and eggs are laid on leaves or developing fruitlets.
Eggs hatch in 10 to 25 days, depending upon temperature, and the young
larvae move to developing fruit within a few hours, chew through the skin,
and burrow into the flesh. Subsequently, the larva burrows to the
fruit core and feeds on seeds. After 25 to 40 days, the larva is
mature, exits the fruit, spins a cocoon, and pupates. Moths of the
second generation emerge two to three weeks later.
Are there Natural Enemies of Codling Moth?
There are several natural enemies of codling moth including birds,
spiders, insects, nematodes, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses.
Is Biological Control of codling moth effective? If not
Potential for biological control of codling moth is limited. This is
because effective biocontrol agents of this species are lacking. Trichogramma
spp. and Ascogaster quadridentata Wesmael (a braconid
wasp) are important parasitoids of egg and egg-larval stages, respectively.
In general, the levels of parasitism of codling moth rarely exceed 15 %
in any generation.
Soon after hatching (within 24 hours), codling moth neonate larvae bore
into the fruit and spend most of their lifespan inside the fruit and as
such they are protected from the action of their natural enemies. However,
the two most hazardous periods in their life are from egg deposition to
penetration of the fruit and during the overwintering phase. Therefore,
natural enemies may only be effective in reducing the numbers of codling
moth at three specific times during its life cycle, namely the egg stage,
newly hatched larvae, and the wintering larvae (MacLellan 1972).
Can codling moth be effectively controlled with Entomopathogens
(insect pathogens) like bacteria, fungi, nematodes, protozoa and viruses?
Bacteria and protozoa show little promise for codling moth control.
Some entomogenous fungi and nematodes (mainly Steinernema feltiae
Filipjev) have shown promising results for the suppression of overwintering
larvae. Their usage, however, may be confined to certain climatic conditions.
Codling moth granulosis virus (CpGv) has shown promise for control of neonate
larvae. This virus is 10,000 times more virulent than Bacillus thuringiensis
for the codling moth neonate. Several field studies have proved its
efficacy in reducing codling moth damage and abundance of surviving larvae.
This virus was developed for commercial use in Europe and has been used
in the United States under experimental use permits. Development of a cost
effective, efficacious CpGv formulation is being pursued by educational
institutions and industry. Availability of such a formulation for codling
moth would add a highly specific method of remedial control that would
not interfere with natural controls of other pests.
What are Phenology Models and how can they be used in codling
moth management programs?
Phenology models and their uses are explained in detail at the University
of California, Davis (USA) website: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/WEATHER/ddconcepts.html#Phenology.
Phenology models are generally used to better time insecticide applications,
thus improving control and reducing inappropriate use of chemical
controls. As monitoring becomes a more important component of
intensive IPM programs, phenology models are used to help schedule these
activities (reducing control decision errors because of incorrectly timed
samples) and reducing monitoring costs.
Is it possible to predict phenology of codling moth?
Insects are cold-blooded animals. Development of their immature stages
is keyed to climatic factors, primarily temperature. It is, therefore,
possible to predict stage changes from climatic records. For immature
stages of codling moth, growth begins at ca. 10oC, which can
be taken as a common threshold for development of the three stages, namely
the eggs, larvae, and pupae. Each stage has a specific heat requirement
to complete development and transform to the next stage. Research
has shown that physiological time models (which require climatic data input)
used in combination with pheromone traps catch data provide a reliable
system to predict the phenology of the codling moth. These models, however,
are limited in predicting the duration of events such as preoviposition,
mating, and oviposition.
How can codling moth population be monitored for effective insecticidal
Codling moth larvae can not be detected until well past time for effective
insecticidal treatment. Hence, monitoring is aimed at adults.
Formerly, light traps and feeding lures (molasses or beer/wine mixed with
water) were the main adult monitoring methods. More recently, pheromone
traps baited with synthetic female sex attractant have been used.
A problem with pheromone traps, however, is that they only attract males
and thus give only an indirect measure of female abundance and activity.
How can Pheromone Traps be used for monitoring codling moth population?
There are two ways in which pheromone traps have been used in monitoring
codling moth: (1) counting the number of males caught per week (or
cumulatively) to assess the potential of a population for causing economic
injury; and (2) using the time of first continuous capture of males as
a biological reference (or biofix) point for predicting time of egg hatch
and therefore optimum timing of pesticide treatment.
Is pesticide application based on numbers of males captured a
Although need for pesticide application based on numbers of males captured
seems to be a viable approach in some apple growing areas, it has not proven
reliable in other regions. The reasons may be several, including
differences in distances over which males respond to pheromone compared
to distances over which females respond to fruit tree stimuli, abundance
of virgin females within and without the orchard confines, and meteorological
factors affecting male activity and pheromone release.
Is there any reliable method for proper timing of insecticide
use against codling moth?
Using the biofix point, in conjunction with number of degree
days accumulated above 10o C (the threshold for ovary and egg
development) since the biofix point, provides a comparatively reliable
method for proper timing of pesticide use in orchards that annually require
treatment against codling moth.
How can conventional codling moth control tactics based on use of neuroactive
insecticides be replaced with environmentally-acceptable control methods?
Replacing conventional control tactics with safer and less disruptive controls
requires a combination of tactics against this pest. The most promising
tactics include mating disruption, insect growth regulators, a granulosis
virus, biological controls, sterile insect release, and cultural practices,
most likely used in various combinations.
What is the chemical name of female codling moth sex pheromone?
Sex pheromones of insects are generally composed of more than one compound.
The main component in Codling Moth Sex Pheromone is (E,E) -8,10-dodecadien-1-ol.
This compound is commonly called as "Codlemone". A laboratory
synthesized compound of this chemical has shown to be very attractive to
the male moths in the field.
Is mating disruption successful in managing codling moth population?
Recently mating disruption has been adopted and tested on a large scale
in the western USA. It was successful in over 95% of the cases.
For more detail, please visit the Website of Areawide
Management of the Codling Moth in the Western U.S.A.