Natural methods for keeping codling moths out of fruit trees can save your fruit and keep it chemical free. Why spray your trees with poisons that can contaminate your fruit and get into ground water? Natural pest control is just as effective. Codling moth larvae can make a real mess of your fruit. They bore through it like miners digging for gold. Here’s how a few natural methods can keep codling moths out of your fruit trees.
1. Pheromone traps. You can hang commercially available pheromone traps in your fruit trees to keep away codling moths. These work very similarly to the yellow jacket traps sold in garden centers. The codling moths are attracted to the pheromones and climb into the trap. Trap construction makes it impossible for them to get out.
2. Trap them with home brew. You can keep codling moths out of fruit trees by catching them before they lay eggs. Just hang a homemade trap (or several) from the branches of your fruit trees. Use an empty gallon milk jug filled with 1/3 cup molasses, 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of ammonia and a quart of water. Cap it, punch holes near the top and hang it in the tree. Moths will crawl in, get trapped and be unable to get out.
3. Trap them with cardboard. Moth larvae that are ready to spin cocoons often look for a dark, protected place to do it. For many years, orchard keepers have been using cardboard to take advantage of the life cycle of codling moths. Cardboard is wrapped around fruit trees. Mature larvae will climb into the corrugated holes in the cardboard for metamorphosis. The cardboard is then removed and burned as a natural method of cutting the codling moth population.
4. Harvest bad apples and smother them. Sometimes picking all the bad apples from fruit trees isn’t enough to keep codling moths out of the garden. When you pick infected fruit from your trees, try placing it in plastic bags and leaving it in the sun. After a few days, the heat and lack of oxygen will exterminate any moths or larvae on the fruit.