Codling Moth

Cydia pomonella

Codling moth
Codling moth [Credit: ©entomart]
Codling moth
Codling moth [Credit: ©entomart]
Codling moth larva in apple
Codling moth larva in apple [Credit: ©entomart]
Codling moth on bark
Codling moth on bark [Credit: ©entomart]
Codling moth
Codling moth [Credit: ©entomart]

Report this bug More information about the Big bug hunt

Host Plants:

On Crops: Apples, pears, walnut, quince

Where Found:

Worldwide in temperate climates


Beige caterpillars with dark heads found feeding in apples are the larvae of codling moths. Hatching from eggs laid on immature apples or nearby leaves, the "apple worms" tunnel to middle of ripening apples to eat the developing seeds. The adult moths are mid-brown and mottled, and seldom so numerous that you might notice them in flight.


Apples that show critter tunnels and rotted middles have often been damaged by this pest. The blossom end of the fruit is a common point of entry for the larvae.

Preventing Problems:

Use pheromone-baited sticky traps to confirm the presence of this pest. The presence of the traps can interrupt mating activities of uncaptured moths nearby.

Managing Outbreaks:

Apples that show obvious wounds or oozing holes should be picked, chopped and composted to interrupt the life cycle of this pest. Enclosing perfect green apples in clear plastic sandwich bags will protect them from codling moths and other pests.


Collecting and disposing of fallen leaves from around affected trees in fall will expose codling moth larvae to insectivorous birds and other predators.

< Back