Codling Moths in the California Bay Area

The seemingly unassuming Codling Moth can wreak havoc on apple and pear orchards, threatening the very heart of the region’s agricultural bounty.

As the sun kisses the picturesque orchards, Codling Moths emerge from their pupal stage, ready to wreak havoc on unsuspecting fruit trees. These moths may seem innocuous, but their larvae—the notorious apple worms—pose a significant threat. These voracious larvae tunnel into apples and pears, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

Codling Moth Taken by David Short from Windsor, UK, CC BY 2.0
David Short from Windsor, UK, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Physical features

The Codling Moth (Cydia pomonella) has distinct physical features that contribute to its hallenges for agriculture. The adult moth, with wings spanning 1/2 to 3/4 inch, has an elegant mottled pattern and a subtle coppery luster at the tips. In its pupal stage, the moth adopts a stealthy demeanor, concealed in the orchard’s shadows. The real threat lies in its larvae, known as apple worms, which can seamlessly blend into the fruit they infest. The Codling Moth’s life cycle, from egg to larva and pupa needs precise intervention for effective control.

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