Codling Moth Control - Commercial Orchards
All owners of orchard property are responsible for
controlling codling moths on their property. An
orchard, as defined by the SIR Program
legislation, is a property 0.3 acres
in size or greater, with 20 or more planted codling moth
host trees (i.e., apple, pear, crabapple, and/or
Identification and Lifecycle
The first step in controlling the codling moth is proper
identification, and an
understanding of the moth's
Sterile Insect Release
SIR Program staff release sterile codling moths
into orchards throughout the service area. Staff also
install and monitor pheromone traps and provide
supplementary fruit inspection.
Sterile insect technology, on which the SIR Program is
based, is not a stand-alone control method for orchards. SIR is part of an integrated pest management regime, and
at times it is necessary for growers to apply other
standard control measures for codling moths.
Mating disruption is another pest management tool available to growers, one that involves the release of synthetic female moth pheromone into the orchard air from plastic tube dispensors. This phreomone release disrupts the normal mating behaviour of moths.
The SIR Program will be utilizing mating disruption in parts of the service area in 2011. More information about the program in 2011 can be seen here.
Like sterile insect release, mating disruption is not a stand-alone control method.
It is important for growers to monitor their own
orchards. Orchardists who spend time in their orchard,
who are familiar with areas of their farms that may be
susceptible to infestation, and who are being vigilant
in their efforts to control the moth, are able to deal
with infestation before it becomes a serious problem.
Chemical controls for codling moths may be necessary in
orchards where high wild codling moth concentrations are
recorded. Growers are encouraged to contact their field
consultant for advice about the use of chemical
pesticides in their specific orchards. A general
overview on the use of pesticides is available
Spray records - All growers are reminded to keep accurate and up-to-date records of all pesticide sprays applied to the blocks they manage. You can use the forms developed by the Okanagan Tree Fruit Company (OTFC) in the Integrated Fruit Production Guide or use your own record-keeping form that reports the same information as the OTFC form. If you ship to the OTFC, you must keep spray records in order to ship to the packinghouse as part of the on-farm food safety requirements as prescribed by CanadaGAP. The SIR Program, OTFC fieldmen and private advisors also need these records to uncover possible reasons for failures in codling moth control, and to also determine if growers are eliminating or reducing the number of cover sprays according to codling moth numbers in their blocks.
As with conventional control methods, growers interested
in organic codling moth control should contact their
organic association and/or their field consultant. An
overview of concepts important to organic codling moth
control in orchards can be viewed
Remove Sources of Infestation
One easy yet important way that growers can help to
reduce the potential for codling moth infestation is to
remove host trees that are not, or can not, be properly
maintained. Common examples include:
- host trees planted too close to buildings, fences, and
slopes where spray equipment can not access both sides
of the trees
- wild trees growing in ditches, along fence lines, or
- host trees growing in the yards of houses located on
orchard properties and crabapple pollinator trees
located outside of the main orchard
Do not store, or sell, firewood obtained from infested host trees. Codling moth larvae live part of their life cocooned in
the bark and crevices of tree trunks. Burn, chip, or
otherwise dispose of the wood.