Fight codling moths - these natural remedies help effectively

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Fight codling moths - these natural remedies help effectively: moths

Who wants to fight the infestation of his fruit tree with the codling moth, should do so possibly with natural or biological means. Although there are many commercially effective chemical insecticides on the market, they can be extremely negative. They are also not necessary, because there are plenty of methods and measures to really and effectively put the codler really effective and sustainable.


It is like all other pests also: First of all you have to recognize an infestation with the codling moth. In the process, the pest, also known as a fruit moss, can not only attack apple trees, but also virtually any other fruit tree in the garden. The problem is not the winder itself. It is a butterfly or a butterfly that is not interested in the fruit on the tree. The real danger comes from its larvae, which feed on the fruits and therefore eat from the outside into the interior of the fruit. The female codlers deliberately lay their own on the surfaces of young fruits. Up to 60 pieces can be that per animal. It is ideal if you already recognize the freshly laid eggs and then begins to fight. The following helps with detection:
  • Eggs are preferably laid in warm temperatures from May to June.
  • The eggs are deposited on young fruits as well as on neighboring leaves.
  • The larvae hatch after seven to 15 days.
  • The eggs have a whitish color, appear more transparent, are shaped very flat like a lens and are about one millimeter in size.
  • The hatched larvae have a white-yellowish color and are about two millimeters in the initial stage.
Without regular visual inspection, where it is best to climb into the apple tree, an infestation can not be detected. It often helps to shake branches and fruits easily. Both the eggs and the larvae then inevitably fall to the ground. If you have previously laid out a foil, you can see the intensity of the infestation on the basis of the yield. A very clear indication are also perforated fruits. If one recognizes these, the larvae have already drilled into the fruit. At the latest then action is required.
Tip: With a so-called pheromone trap, which is commercially available, can be estimated early on the intensity of a possible infestation.

Biological control

Since one would like to eat the fruits of a fruit tree, biological control of the codling moth or the fruit mound is always to be preferred. There is not one method, but rather a whole set of measures. The best method is anyway, which starts at the root and prevents or minimizes an infestation if possible. Prevention is therefore just as important as the actual fight. The following measures have proven to be effective in getting the problems with the codler naturally under control:

Remove infected fruits immediately

Codworm - Cydia pomonella

If it is determined by their perforation that fruits are already infected with the maggot, they must be removed immediately. This applies to fruits that are still hanging on the tree as well as those that have fallen to the ground. Leaving them on the ground, the danger is great that the maggots leave them and crawl back into the tree on the trunk. Depending on the intensity of the infestation, they must either be cut out or disposed of completely. The disposal should not take place on the compost, but in the residual waste bin.

Catching belt made of corrugated cardboard

A very effective method to combat the codling moth in the larval stage, are so-called Fanggürtel. These consist of commercially available corrugated board and are wrapped in a width of about 20 centimeters around the trunk and possibly existing buttresses. They should be installed from the end of June. The larvae then crawl into the openings of the warming cardboard to hibernate there. Under normal circumstances, they spend the winter months in the bark. In autumn, you do not take these fishing belts off and discard them in the residual waste. Alternatively, they can of course be burned.

Deploy pheromones

The male codling moths find the females due to certain attractants emanating from them. Spreading these pheromones in the entire garden, the males are so confused that they simply can not find the females. Consequently, it does not lead to a mating and the risk of a drastic infestation with the Fruchtmade sinks considerably. The attractants are available in specialist shops as ampoules. It is important to have a coordinated approach with the neighbors in order to guarantee widespread application. The best time for this depends on the temperatures and is determined by the so-called temperature sum method. Specific information can be obtained from the official weather service.Incidentally, the principle of the attractant trap works quite similarly. Here is a cardboard box with attractants and adhesive provided. The attracted males then simply stick in the box.

Biological pesticides

An acute infestation with the codling moth can be very effective combat with purely biological sprays. The classic among these means is certainly the vermouth. For this you need ten liters of rainwater or stale water and 300 grams of fresh vermouth leaves (alternatively 30 grams of dried leaves). The leaves are finely chopped and then added to the water. Then the mixture is allowed to ferment for 10 to 14 days in sunlight and it is stirred again and again vigorously. After this time, the manure is filtered through a sieve and can then be applied over a large area of ​​the tree with a conventional garden sprayer. The ideal time for this is the early summer.

Promote predators


The codling larvae have a number of natural enemies that feed on them. These include above all the earwigs, but also parasitic wasps and birds. It is therefore advisable to do everything so that the animals feel comfortable in the garden and settle there. For example, it makes sense to hang flowerpots filled with wood wool upside down in the tree, as earwigs, in particular, like to nest there. Even birdhouses and a dense planting in the garden are appropriate. Incidentally, the natural predators do not only destroy the fruit maggots, but also other pests such as aphids or mites.


The codling moth infestation can be so strong that there is nothing left to do but to resort to an insecticide. In fact, this should always be the last resort, as it can cause significant damage. Ultimately, the purely biological measures really provide very good opportunities to get the problem under control. Preventive measures should always be consistent with acute control. Basically, it's all about a natural balance in the garden. If this is given, the codling population also keeps within very narrow limits.

Video Board: Organic Codling Moth Control.

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