|(l) after one week; (r) after one minute. Not the same.|
Codling moths are nasty. If you find a 'worm' or a 'worm hole' in an apple, it's probably neither. Odds are it's the result of a codling moth laying eggs on your trees, which eggs then hatch larva that burrow into your fruit (leaving a small hole), eat for three weeks, then burrow out (leaving a large hole). The fattened larva then crawl to the ground or hide under the tree's bark, emerging the next spring as moths. These moths then lay eggs, beginning the cycle again.
Other than blasting your tree with alar or other things you really don't want to eat any more than worms, there are a couple of approaches that hold promise for controlling your codling moths.
The first is to create a concoction of one cup vinegar, one cup sugar, and a bit of banana peel. Put it in a milk jug, fill the jug with water, then hang the whole shebang from a high branch of your apple tree. Unlike the worthless,* vinegar-based Weed-Be-Gone, this recipe showed promise immediately: the jug on the left is not simply discolored for the benefit of those with flash photography, it's full of dead moths, flies, and mosquitoes.
The second, which we shall be trying this fall, is to catch the codling
The first part of the strategy seems to work fine: after barely a week, I have lots of dead moths.** The second? Well, we'll see how well the second does. I have this brush pile that will be just about ready to burn once the snow starts falling...
* ok, so it's not entirely worthless. After 5 days, my weeds have a few leaves that have turned brown around the edges.
** I have also agreed to pay TK and Molly a nickel for each moth they kill with a badminton racket. That's not as successful. Thus far I have paid out about 45 cents and need two new badminton rackets.