Science Into Practice - Codling moth spray timing

Codling moth is still the most important apple pest found in the UK and its control poses a major challenge for all growers.

Previous HDC-funded work (TF 189) showed that pheromone trap catches are not good indicators of codling moth egg laying and that regular, direct counting of eggs on fruitlets is the most accurate way of determining the timing and need for spray applications. However, direct egg monitoring is time consuming and unlikely to be done by growers or consultants.

In a new project (TF 204), scientists at East Malling Research are comparing the use of a standard method of monitoring male moth flight using pheromone traps with the RIMpro-Cydia forecasting model in conjunction with either pheromone trap records or an assessment of codling moth damage experienced the previous year.

The initial results of trials with the standard pheromone trap indicated that the current threshold of five moths per trap is too high in the latter part of the season when fruit is susceptible to damage and further work is needed to resolve this problem.

Use of the RIMpro model in conjunction with the trap performed similarly to the standard pheromone trap. Results from the RIMpro model in conjunction with codling moth damage the previous year suggested that phenological parts of the model did not predict any risk of second-generation attack. Further work has continued in 2014.

The full grower summary for project TF 204 can be found on the HDC website at

Horticultural Development Company

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