Friday, 13 August 2010

More Codling Moth

No mystery about the source of the codling moth, the ancient cooking apple in the newly-acquired neighbouring garden is absolutely full of moth larvae. The fruit has not been picked or cleared for years.

A lot of the Morettini fruit has developed signs of infestation since being picked and stored, quite a significant percentage now. I'm not sure why it's taken so long for the infestation to build up on the other side of the fence, but now it has. I think the apples are less affected as most of them are quite strongly biennial, so over-wintering females have found no fruit to infest.

Lets dispel some myths about control. Most of my cordons are grown between regularly dug vegetable beds, this has made very little difference to the incidence of pests that spend part of their life cycle in the soil below. I also have chickens, and a very wide variety of wild birds that feed enthusiastically, which also has made little difference. I haven't tried any barrier methods of control (greasebands) yet, or pheromone traps, so this will be the first approach.

I might try the biological control, as there aren't many other fruit trees in the vicinity and I'm sure the main reservoir is probably the cooker next door. Pheromone traps are an option, but will catch some of the males, not enough to make a real difference, so their use would probably be only as a guide as to when to spray as a last resort.

No comments: