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Pheromone Trap for Codling Moth


The adults of the codling moth (Cydia pomonella), also known as the common apple worm, are small brownish-grey moths, ca. 10 mm long. Their wingspan is approximately 20 mm and the forewings have a characteristic pattern. Their flight mainly takes place in twilight in warm and calm weather; during daytime, they remain unnoticed on tree trunks or branches. After flight and mating, the female moth lays eggs one by one on fruit or leaves. After 7-14 days have passed, larvae hatch from the eggs and feed on the fruit for a month to a month and a half, and then leave to overwinter in bark cracks where they also pupate.

These are images of an adult codling moth with spread and folded wings – the latter is the most common position in which they are found on the gluey base; the image on the right shows a codling moth larva in a damaged apple.

Pheromone trap for the codling moth

By using 2-5 pheromone traps in your garden, you will be able to detect the presence of the codling moth in the garden, assess whether insecticide spraying is required on the basis of the moths trapped in the traps and, if required, conduct spraying at the right time.
By using more traps, you will be able to thin the ranks of the codling moth by means of trapping the moths.
Assembly of the trap

The edges at the bottom of the trap are folded upwards.
The pair of gluey bases is pulled open and one gluey base is placed on the bottom, gluey side upwards.
The rubber pheromone capsule (dispenser) is placed in the centre of the gluey base.
Fasteners are pushed through the openings and used to fasten the trap to a branch.
The trap is hung as horizontally as possible on the southern or western outer branch of the apple tree in order to cover it from direct sunlight.
When using pheromone traps in order to monitor the codling moth, the traps are hung approximately at eye level in order to make it possible to inspect them once a week.
For monitoring purposes, the trap is opened from the side, the insects are removed from the gluey base with a spatula or the edge of a knife, and the number of codling moth in the trap is registered. If it becomes apparent in the course of the inspection that the gluey base is very dusty or filled with insects and refuse, it must be replaced.
If the traps have caught more than an average of 5 moths per trap in a week, it is recommended to conduct insecticide spraying after 7-14 days. The period of time in which larvae hatch from the eggs laid by the adult codling moth depends on the weather conditions whereas the spraying must be conducted in a period when the larvae are still young and have not managed to burrow into the fruit.

The monitoring of the flight of the codling moth should continue after spraying, and if the number of moths caught in the trap is once again above the spraying criterion, i.e. over 5 moths per trap in a week, spraying should be repeated. The suitable time for this will be chosen according to the instructions of the insecticide used (generally 2-3 weeks after the first spraying).
It is recommended not to conduct insecticide spraying if the number of moths caught is below the spraying criterion!
This will help you preserve nature and avoid needless expenses on insecticide.
In order to prevent an increase in the number of the codling moth in your garden, we recommend hanging traps in the garden for trapping the moths.
Trapping out adult codling moths with pheromone traps is well suited for pest control in your own garden where it is not recommended to use insecticides at all, or if required, insecticides are used as little as possible.

For the purpose of trapping out, a trap must be hung on every tree or one for every two saplings, and the traps must definitely be hung higher – at a height of 2-3 metres – as adult codling moth mainly fly in the upper third of the treetop.
After 3-4 weeks, the gluey bases of the traps have gathered plenty of dust, are covered with insects and refuse, and should certainly be replaced. If the flight of the codling moth lasts for a longer period (mainly depending on the weather), both the gluey base and the dispenser should be replaced in the middle of July. If the spare capsule is not required, it can be stored in a cool place in sealed packaging and used next spring.

NB! The glue used on the base is very sticky and cannot be washed off with water. Regular petrol or white spirit may be used for cleaning hands; cooking oils and other substances are less efficient.

If the weather has not excessively damaged the casing of the trap, it may be used again next year, but only for the same insect species. A noticeable decrease in the damage caused by the codling moth is generally achieved as the result of pest control over 2-3 years. In order to avoid a new increase in the numbers of the pest in the garden, you should continue using the traps.