Apple Pests - Know the Difference Between the Codling Moth and the Apple Maggot!
There are two significant insect pests that attack apples: The Codling Moth is a native insect that has been around forever, though problematic, it does not destroy the entire fruit, it's possible to manage and live with. The Apple Maggot, a more recent arrival to some sites in the Klamath Trinity region, is far more damaging and often renders the fruit un usable for eiher fresh eating or processing. This pest exists in our area, but not everywhere, so if you have it it is very important to avoid spreading it by moving your fruit.
The Codling Moth, Cydia pomonella, is a common pest that bores into the fruit (including apples, pears and walnuts), eats the seed, and exits; sometimes you will find the "worm: (actually a caterpillar) in the fruit, sometimes just the trail and frass. This is a native insect that has been around for years, and while it causes significant damage, the fruit can still be sliced for fresh eating or processed for cider or preserves. Populations fluctuate, so there are good years and bad years. As with most pests, there is no "magic bullet", and it is necessary to employ several strategies - Clean up "strikes" (infected fruit) and dispose of by burying or composting thoroughly in a hot pile. Place confusion pheromone lures in trees to disrupt mating and reduce adult populations. Further control methods include the application of granliosis virus ((Cyd-Ex), Spinosad insecticide, and kaolin clay directly to fruit (Surround) though these methods tend to e feasible only for commercial scale growers.
The Pest Notes bulletin from UC Davis provides a succinct description of the Codling Moth life cycle and control. This UC Pest Management Guide is more detailed and includes links to their website for more information.
The Apple Maggot, Rhagoletis pomonella, is a serious pest that completely destroys fruit that it infects - It is present in some, but not all, of the Klamath Trinity region. IF YOU HAVE THIS PEST IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU DO NOT SPREAD IT BY MOVING YOUR FRUIT AROUND!!!! If you have the apple maggot DO NOT move your fruit from your site - it is not good for juice or preserves and you will only be infecting other site with the pest. Populations can be reduced by thoroughly cleaning and burying infested fruit. If you are not using the fruit consider removing the tree(s) that are infested rather than harbor and propagate a serious pest. This UC Pest Management Guide has more detailed information on the Apple Maggot.