Codling Moth

Cydia pomonella

Codling moth adult
Adult Codling moth on a pear. Photo courtesy of the Agricultural Research Service.
Codling moth was once the greatest insect pest in the United States and continues to be a major pest. It is distributed world-wide and attacks a large number of hosts: apples, pears, almonds, peaches, cherries, and many more.
Mottled gray wings with shiny brown tips. Approximately 1/2" in length.
Codling moth adult
Adult Codling moth. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Creamy white to light pink in color with a brown head. Unlike most other larva, they feed close to the center of the fruit or nut. Up to 3/4" in length when mature.
Codling moth larva
Codling moth larva. Photo courtesy of the Agricultural Research Service.
Thin disk approximately 1/16" in diameter and nearly transparent. Laid singly on leaves and fruit.
Shortly after hatching, the larva hunt for and burrow into the center of the fruit or nut where they develop. They then exit in order to pupate either in soil, nearby debris, or trunk bark. Infested fruit are unmarketable and may contain bacteria and fungi that lead to fruit rot.
Codling moth can be controlled by several insecticides. Timing is critical since the larva are only vulnerable from egg hatch until entering the fruit or nut. Always read and follow all label instructions.
For low populations, mating disruption can be a viable option. The idea is to blanket the orchard with pheremone so that male moths cannot find females and mate. The unmated females then die without producing any eggs.