codling moth traps

northwoodswis(4)May 12, 2010

Many years ago where I used to live, I made some traps for codling moths out of milk jugs with a cider, molasses, ammonia concoction in them. They would get a layer of drowned codling moths in them several inches thick. I now have apple trees again, so last year I found a couple recipes on the Internet, including one that uses banana peel, and hung out some traps. Didn't catch many moths. I assumed it was that the trees were young and many of my apples were bagged, so perhaps there weren't many moths around. I hung out several more jugs this spring, with no takers yet. Then tonight my daughter pointed out that the vinegar I have says "apple cider FLAVORED distilled vinegar." It is made from grains and contains no apples! I will go buy some different vinegar tomorrow and be sure it is really made from apples!

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I've been meaning to try that. Do you recall the recipe that was so successful?



    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 6:03AM
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I used the milk jugs with a mix of cider vinegar/molasses for a number of years when my orchard was young, and they worked pretty well. Caught a lot of moths, though I don't know how many were codling moths or oriental fruit moths but I am sure many were.

I just poured an inch or so of vinegar and a few tablespoons of blackstrap molasses and mixed well, then wired the jugs -- with big holes cut in the upper part -- to the trees. I did not add ammonia, since the fumes from vinegar alone seemed to do the trick.

Also used electric insect zappers in the orchard for quite a few years, and they killed a lot of moths also. Now I rely on early sprays followed by apple bagging for protection with good results. All of these methods work, more or less, and in most seasons. It's a matter of choosing the one that's the least work and you feel most comfortable with.

I'm not certain that switching vinegar types from grain to apple based will make a whole lot of difference. Maybe you don't have large numbers of moths yet.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 6:47AM
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