Codling moth

(Cydia pomonella)

Regularly occurring in Europe, bivoltine pest.

Food plant:

Apple, pear, quince, nut, almond


The caterpillar intruding the inside of the fruit decays the ovary, leaving feces and chewing debris behind. Almost always we can thank the “worminess” of the apple and pear to this pest, just like when we crack a nut and we can only find feces and debris in it. One caterpillar can damage more fruits.


It winters as a larva on the fruit tree’s trunk, at locations where fruit is stored. Depending on the year and weather the swarming of the first generation starts in the second half of April or in the beginning of May, and peaks in the beginning of June. The swarming of the second generation is expected from the second half of July, peaks at end of the month and in the beginning of August, and it can last until end of September. The moths place their eggs on to the fruits and to the nearby leaves.

Recommended protection:

Hatching of the first caterpillars is expected usually after three weeks from the start of swarming, whereas their mass hatching takes place usually 10-14 days of peak swarming. Knowing the swarming is very important because chemical protection is the most effective at the time of peak swarming and mass hatching.

Pheromone trap placement:

Trap placement is best in mid-April but latest at the blossoming of the apple trees. Replace the dispenser and the sticky boards in every 6-8 weeks, preferably not around the time of peak swarming.

Check the traps twice a week. Count the number of moths captured in the particular period and note the number. The swarming dynamics are visible from the data and the time of intervention is definable. Should the trap capture too few moths, even at peak swarming time, it refers to low infection. In this case the moths can be captured by placing some further traps in smaller gardens and the population can be controlled without spraying, so that we can preserve our environment.

Empirical swarming curve of the codling moth in Central-Europe:

The introduced empirical swarming curve was prepared by using data of many years, however the swarming may be different depending on the weather and the microclimate of the arable land, therefore the thorough observation of swarming is also important.

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