Cup Moth Info – Learn About Gardening With Cup Moths
What Is A Codling Moth?
Codling moth caterpillars are small, wingless insects that feed on leaves of plants such as apple orchards and other fruit trees. They have white bodies with black spots. Their wings are brownish yellow in color. These little bugs usually live underground and emerge during the spring to feed on new growth.
How Do You Get Rid Of Them?
The best way to get rid of them is to remove their food source. If you don’t, they will eventually die off and leave your tree bare. There are several methods to kill these pests:
1) Insecticidal Soap – Apply insecticide soap directly onto the caterpillar’s body.
Use a spray bottle with a fine nozzle (such as those sold at hardware stores). Don’t use water because it doesn’t work well enough to kill the caterpillars.
Spray the soapy solution into the soil around your tree and wait 24 hours before moving any nearby plants or removing them from your yard. Most of the soil-dwelling pests will have died from the solution. You may see them lying on top of the soil after you apply the soapy liquid.
2) Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) – This is a biological insecticide that kills by targeting specific organs within the caterpillar’s body.
It doesn’t kill larvae immediately, but it will after several days of feeding on leaves that have been poisoned by Bt.
3) Milky Spore – This kills larval coddling moths by infecting them with a fungus that grows on leaves.
It spreads in the caterpillar’s body and clogs up their organs. It is only effective if you apply it while the caterpillar is small (smaller than 1 cm).
4) Natural Predators – Slugs, snails, and predatory insects will eat your codling moth caterpillars.
What Are The Signs Of A Codling Moth Infestation?
If you see small brown moths flying around your fruit trees and laying eggs in them, you have codling moth caterpillars. Adult moths are basically brown colored and have a wingspan of about 1 cm. The eggs are tiny (about 1mm long) and yellow in color. They look like little grains of sand stuck to the branches or undersides of leaves. This is usually where the caterpillars like to feed.
The caterpillar’s body is white and has black spots. It has a bright red, shiny head and rear end.
The mature caterpillar is about 3 cm long (about 1 inch). It has five pairs of small legs near its head and thirteen pairs of longer legs near its rearmost end. Its body is quite slender. After it grows to about 2.5 cm in length it will enter the soil to pupate.
You can see the signs of caterpillar droppings on leaves. They look like little black pellets about 1mm in size (about 1/12th inch).
These are composed of the waste material that the caterpillar has ingested.
The caterpillar also chews leaves and pieces of them may be found on the ground around the base of your trees.
What Is The Life Cycle Of A Codling Moth?
Codling moths can be seen flying around your trees from spring to fall. In some places, they can even survive the winter. The eggs will only be laid in spring or early summer. It takes about three weeks for the eggs to hatch. (This is the time it takes for the caterpillar to grow from an egg to a 1 cm long larva). It takes about two months for the caterpillar to grow to 3 cm long. It then pupates underground for about a month before it turns into an adult moth. These are the only three stages in its life cycle.
How Serious Is The Codling Moth?
The codling moth is a pest of apple trees, pear trees and quince trees. It also feeds on cherry and plum trees. A codling moth infestation can be serious because it causes widespread crop destruction.
The caterpillars feed by chewing on leaves and branches. They can also bore into the fruit and hollow it out.
In this way, they can kill the host tree. The adult moths have a short life span and usually only live for about a week. Their sole purpose is to mate and produce more eggs.
What Happens When There Is No Codling Moth?
If there are no codling moths in the area, you might be lucky enough to have no codling moths find your orchard.
On the other hand, if you are an organic apple farmer, think of all the beneficial insects that might come to your farm because of this.
Not only are codling moths pests, but they also kill trees and crops. They help to eliminate their competition and allow other insects to move in.
An apple farm that has been overrun by the codling moth may become a safe place for wasps, hornets, and bees to nest.
The signs of a codling moth infestation are not difficult to spot. They eat leaves of the tree and create little pellets of chewed up leaves.
They also create little tunnels inside the apple.
A codling moth infestation does not only destroy crop yields, but it can also make your orchard inhospitable to other insects and wildlife.
A codling moth infestation can become so serious that it changes the entire ecosystem around your farm.
What You Should Know About The Life Cycle Of A Codling Moth
The life cycle of a codling moth has several stages. These are the egg, larval, pupal and adult stages.
Each of these stages has a unique purpose in the life cycle. All of these stages are necessary for the survival of the species and the continuance of the life cycle itself. The adult codling moth has wings and can fly.
The egg of the codling moth is white before it hatches. It is oval in shape and has a little hair on one end.
The eggs are usually laid in clusters on the underside of leaves. This helps protect them from getting damaged or eaten by predators.
When an egg is first laid, it is sticky. It is attached to a leaf by a thread so that it does not fall off and get lost in the grass.
The eggs hatch in 7-10 days. When they hatch, a tiny caterpillar will emerge. The caterpillar eats its egg and then starts to eat the leaves in the vicinity.
It grows rapidly. It molts several times and after three weeks, it is fully grown.
It is now a large caterpillar, which is almost as long as your little finger. It can be up to 4 cm long. It is green and has a yellow stripe down its back. There are tiny white hairs all over its body.
The caterpillar spins a little silk pad and attaches itself in the pad so that only the top of its head sticks out. It stays like this until it is ready to pupate.
This process is called pupation and will last about 3-4 days.
The adult codling moth emerges from its pupa and has wings. The wings are crumpled at first and take a while to inflate to their full size.
The codling moth has a brownish colour and a white patch near the wingtips on its front pair of wings. It has a little black dot near each antenna.
The adult codling moth mates soon after it emerges and the female lays her eggs within a couple of weeks. It’s a busy life for the adult codling moth!
The whole life cycle of the codling moth from egg to egg takes about 3-4 weeks in the summer and twice as long in the winter.
How To Get Rid Of Them
Now that you are armed with information about these insects, you can decide what to do with them on your farm. All of the methods use codling moth eggs because they are the easiest to find and destroy.
The key to controlling the codling moth is to do it before the caterpillars hatch out. If you miss a few eggs, you don’t need to worry because there will be more caterpillars next year.
Most of the time you can gather up all of the eggs and then apply an insecticide/chemical spray on foliage, eggs, and caterpillars.
Sometimes you can’t do this because the eggs were already laid by the time you notice them.
If this is the case, you will need to pick off all of the caterpillars you see and then apply Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to the foliage. Bt is a bacteria that only kills caterpillars and butterflies and is sold as a powder or liquid at all garden centers.
This kills the caterpillars that have already hatched.
The only problem with doing this every year is that the codling moth will become resistant to the Bt spray after a few years and it will stop working. This is why you do everything else you can the rest of the time.
If you have trees close to your house or other area that you want to protect, apply a good organic pesticide spray just on those plants. Don’t forget to reapply it every few weeks and make sure you get all of the caterpillars you see on those plants.
You can also try wrapping the trunks of fruit trees with a sticky tape like strips of tanglefoot to keep the caterpillars from climbing up. You can also put bird netting over your trees in the spring and summer.
There are many different types of traps that you can use to catch codling moths. One kind of trap is an LED blue light that attracts the male moths.
You place this trap near the garden and the male moths go to the trap and then don’t produce any more caterpillars.
Remember that you will still need to spray or dust your trees for the caterpillars you can’t see.
There are also pheromone traps that draw in female codling moths to trap them so they can’t lay any eggs.
You can also buy a hand held vacuum to remove the moths you see.
If all else fails, there are many organic and natural pesticides you can use on your trees.
Remember to keep everything as clean as possible. Keep all old fruit picked off the ground and get rid of any fruit that has fallen to the ground
If you don’t get rid of the overripe or rotting fruit, the codling moth will use this as a food source and will continue to thrive in your yard.
Keep an eye on your trees and keep them healthy with organic fertilizer.
As a last resort you can always try to spray your trees with a mild poison such as Malathion.
Always read the warnings and instructions for any chemicals that you use.
Now that your trees are healthy and thriving, you can sit back with a piece of homemade pie and enjoy it. Nothing like home grown fruit!
You might want to share some of this fruit but your family will probably keep you from doing that. They are really enjoying the fresh fruit you have been bringing in lately and don’t want you to stop.
Your wife doesn’t like all the dishes you are having to do since you started doing all this so she suggests that maybe you should hire someone at the beginning of the season next year to take care of it. That way you’ll have more time for other things (like making more pie!)
You might also want to try taking some of your apples to town to sell at market. You might make more money that way.
You have been putting off mucking out the barn to do this year but if you get a helper that will free you up a bit so maybe you can take the time to do it.
You have a lot of options open to you now.
1. You can hire a helper to do the dirty work and spend more of your time making pie filling and apple butter.
(assuming you can find someone).
2. You can take some of your apples to market to sell.
3. You can spend some of your extra time this fall to clean out the barn.
4. You can hire someone to clean out your barn.
5. You can do something else all together.
Well I hope you have fun with it. I think it is a great project.
You can get the book here: The Backyard Orchardist
and you’ll also find more resources here:
Fruit Tree Forum
Happy Fruit Growing!
If you enjoyed this story, you might also like my other stories:
Our Ranch – Where South Meets West
My Friend’s Hot Mom – Workout Partners
The Office – Big Box Store
My Friend’s Hot Mom – Pool Boy
Our Ranch – Breaking In The New Hand
Taking Care Of Business – My Friend’s Hot Mom
The Doctor Is In…
– The Beard Trimmer
My Mother In Law – Frying Pan
My Friend’s Hot Mom – The Beard
The Office – Mini-Split (R18)
The New Hand – My Friend’s Hot Mom
Our Ranch – The Hayride
My Friend’s Hot Mom – The Lunch Date
Taking Care Of Business – Vacuum Salesman
The Ranch Hand – Our Ranch
My Friend’s Hot Mom – The Pool Guy
Taking Care Of Business – The Car Salesman
Taking Care Of Business – The Lunch Meeting
The Doctor Is In…
– The Bathroom
My Friend’s Hot Mom – The Pool Guy, Part 2
My Friend’s Hot Mom – The Car Ride
Taking Care Of Business – The Hair Salon
My Friend’s Hot Mom – The Hotel Room
Our Ranch – The Stag Party
My Friend’s Hot Mom – The Car Ride Home
The New Hand – The Rodeo
Taking Care Of Business – The Dinner Meeting
The New Hand – Post-Rodeo
My Friend’s Hot Mom – The Dinner Invitation
The New Hand – The First Week
My Friend’s Hot Mom – The Cottage
My Friend’s Hot Mom – The Hotel Room (Revisited)
The Doctor Is In…
– The Drop Off
The New Hand – The First Time
Our Ranch – Bucking Bulls
My Friend’s Hot Mom – The Sleepover
The Doctor Is In…
– The Practice Kiss
Our Ranch – Planting Trees
The New Hand – The Tan Lines
Our Ranch – Planting Trees (II)
Taking Care Of Business – The Hot Tub
My Friend’s Hot Mom – The Sleepover (Continued)
The Office – Breaks Are Over
The New Hand – The Morning After
Our Ranch – Hay Delivery
Our Ranch – Hay Delivery (II)
The New Hand – Summer Montage
My Friend’s Hot Mom – The First Date
Our Ranch – Hay Delivery (III)
Our Ranch – The Pool Party
The New Hand – A Day At The Pool
My Friend’s Hot Mom – Mom’s Night Out
The Doctor Is In…
– The Blind Date
The New Hand – The Camping Trip
Taking Care Of Business – The Hotel Room (Continued)
Our Ranch – Haying Season
Our Ranch – After The Storm
The New Hand – The Other Side Of The Storm
The New Hand – Haying Season Is Over
The New Hand – The Tornado
The New Hand – One Year Later…
Taking Care Of Business – The Car Ride
The Rancher and His Daughter – The Car Ride (II)
My Neighbor’s Son – The Sleepover
The New Hand – Welcome To The Ranch
We’ve included a PDF that has images of the characters in various stages of undress. These are for readers who like to envision the characters in the story as they go along.
We’ve also included a PDF that has images of some of the ranch hand “Bible”, which is a book used to help keep track of various tasks and chores you have to do throughout the day on the ranch. You’ll quickly learn how dirty this job can get. Lastly we have the story in screenplay format if you’d rather read it that way as well.
Again, thank you for downloading this book and we hope you enjoy it!
Hello I’m __________, and I’ll be your narrator for this audio experience. I was hired by the creators of _________ as a “narrator” for this title.
That means I’ll be reading the words on the screen for you. Now, if you’ve listened to any other audio book or podcast before then you probably already know that the narrator is the person responsible for actually reading the text and keeping the story moving forward. So please, pay attention to me in the future. If you don’t, I can’t be held accountable for whatever it is you may miss during the experience. It’s not my fault if you don’t pay attention. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
The story you are about to experience was intended to be heard and not read. For maximum effect, you may want to listen to the audio while reading along with this text.
Also, please do not listen to this story when operating a vehicle or heavy machinery of any kind.
Now, to really get into the spirit of things, make sure you are in a quiet area where you won’t be disturbed. Turn off your phone and make sure that the volume on your computer is turned up.
When you’re ready, press the play button on the page and I’ll see you on the other side.
We begin our story on a dark desert highway. A man and his son are riding in a rented convertible.
The man is young, with dark hair and a good physique. He is wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. The car has a convertible top that is down. The car has visible dents in the side. Both front and rear windows of the car have stickers that distort the view through the windows, so the man and his son are both squinting against the wind.
The man’s son looks to be in his early teens. He is wearing jeans and a white t-shirt as well, but his t-shirt is oversized and worn, and he is bent over the armrest, puking into a gutter on the side of the road.
Man: Come on, son, keep it together. We’ll be out of this desert soon, and you can hurl all you want then.
Just keep it together for another half hour.
Man’s Son: (gurgling) I think I got pizza crusts in there. (hic) Maybe if I (hic) choke on the way up, I won’t have to bring it back down.
Man: No, no son, hold it all in. We’ll be out of this hellish desert soon.
Just a half hour of clear roads ahead of us.
Man’s Son: Oh God…
Man: Come on, buddy. (sigh)
Why did you eat 7 slices?
You know you can’t handle that kind of stuff. Here, drink some water.
Man’s Son: I don’t want any more water. This may be all we get until morning!
Man: They’ll be more rest stops, just keep drinking. If you don’t, you’ll get dehydrated and that’ll be worse.
Man’s Son: (gargling and swallowing noises)
Man: It’s just up ahead, you can make it.
The man’s son finishes the water and slowly begins to feel a little better. He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and stares out at the desert.
He notices that they are passing markers that indicate how many miles remain until the next major city, which is 80 miles away.
Man’s Son: Why are we stopping so far from civilization?
It’s not safe out here. There might be roving bands of marauders!
Man: Relax, we’re not that far out. Besides, the guidebook says there’s a good campsite up ahead that’s marked with a sign and everything.
Man’s Son: Dad, I’ve been looking at these signs for the past 3 hours and they just say how many miles remain until the next major city. I don’t see what good that does us!
Man: (Sigh) It’s a government program. They put up these markers so that emergency vehicles can get through in the event of…
Man’s Son: (interrupting) A government program? You mean like those signs are actually worth something?
I’ve been laughing at those for the past two hours!
Man: Why would you do that?
! Those signs are there for a reason!
Man’s Son: I dunno, I just thought they were funny.
You mean they’re not fake? We’re really safe?
Man: (Sigh) I guess. I mean, I don’t know.
But who puts up signs that are fake?
Man’s Son: (Laughing) The government! They do it all the time! They wasted money on those signs, and we’re the fools who followed them like sheep! Ha ha haaa!
Man: (Sigh) I don’t feel good about this. But you’re right, let’s keep going and find some place to crash for the night.
Man’s Son: I think I’ll turn on the radio and listen to some music on the last few miles.
You want to pick the station?
Man: Um… sure. Fine.
The car slowly creeps up the remaining distance as the sun slowly begins to set.
Man’s Son: You know, Dad, I think I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to go to a hotel anymore.
We have reservations, we can’t just not show up!
Man’s Son: Well maybe we could call and cancel.
Man: Why don’t we just drive until we’re tired and then sleep in the car?
Man’s Son: Because I don’t want to waste all of that gas! We can afford it!
Man: But you’re worried about wasting the money on hotel rooms?
Man’s Son: (Sigh) Nevermind, we’ll figure it out later. Next right!
Man: Uh, kid, I don’t think that’s a road. The sign says “No Through Road” and it’s got a giant skull and crossbones on it.
Man’s Son: What?
It doesn’t! The sign says museum and it has a picture of a wax figure with an axe in it.
Man: It does? Seriously?
Wow. My eyesight is really starting to go.
Man’s Son: (Laughing) I’m just messing with you, Dad!
Man: Aw, sonofabitch!
The car swerves off into the marsh as the two men exit the vehicle.
Man’s Son: You alright, Dad?
Man: My back… I think it’s broken.
Man’s Son: What are we going to do?
We’re in the middle of nowhere and it’s getting dark!
Man: (Coughing) We’ll…
we’ll be fine. It looks like that path over there leads to a house or an inn or something. (Cough) Just go get help. I’ll be here.
Man’s Son: No way, I’m not leaving you out here in the middle of nowhere!
Man: (Sigh) Fiiine. But we’ve gotta hurry.
This place looks like it belongs to the local gang. Those creeps are really violent and they might come back any minute.
Man’s Son: Oh, is that all?
I fought them off in the junkyard a bunch of times. They’re practically harmless.
Man: I don’t know what you’ve been doing in those junkyards, but they’re far from harmless. (Sigh) Let’s just get inside…
The two men stumble towards the house as the sky darkens. The closer they get, the more rundown it appears.
Graffiti lines the walls and broken windows expose empty rooms within.
Man: This place gives me a bad feeling. Maybe we should just go.
Man’s Son: But what if it’s the only house around for miles?
We could at least try it out.
The father and son enter the house.
Man’s Son: It looks like they left in a hurry. Maybe the gang came and they had to run.
Do you think we should start looking for them?
Man: I doubt if we’ll be that lucky.
Man’s Son: This is just so weird. And kind of creepy.
I don’t know if I want to sleep here tonight.
Man: Then don’t. But we need to at least get some rest before we go traipsing around the countryside.
Man’s Son: I guess it is getting pretty late. We’ll be able to think more clearly if we’ve had some rest.
The son lays down on the floor, using his pack as a pillow.
Man’s Son: Could you pass me my gun, please?
I want to hold onto it in case anything happens while I sleep.
Man: Sure, sure.
The father takes out his revolver and hands it to the son, who places it in his hands.
Man’s Son: Leave the light on. I want to be able to see what’s going on.
Man: Of course. Don’t worry, I’ll take the first watch.
The father sits down on a dusty chair as the son lays his head down to sleep. Soon enough, he finds himself fading away into unconsciousness…
A strange sound wakes him up. It’s the creaking of floorboards.
He looks over at his son–he is still fast asleep. The light from the lantern creates bizarre shadows all around the room, but nothing seems to be moving.
Man: Must have been my imagination.
He stands up and silently steps over to where his son is laying. He looks down on him with care, brushing a few errant hairs away from his face as he smiles softly.
Man: Don’t worry, I’ll always be here to protect you.
He kisses the boy on the forehead before walking back over to the chair he was sitting in. But just as he sits down, a dark figure steps out of the darkness.
The man stumbles back in surprise as he stares at the figure. It is a young girl, no older than his son.
She wears ragged clothing and her long hair obscures most of her face.
Man: Who are you?
The girl continues to stare at him without saying a word, but her eyes betray her fear.
Man: Answer me! I’m armed!
The girl takes another step forward before collapsing to the floor. He rushes over to her, but as he reaches down to grab her a sharp pain courses through his chest.
Blood trickles out of the corner of his mouth as realization sets in. He looks down to find the girl’s dagger piercing his heart.
Man: I’m sorry…
The girl is still alive, but just barely. He raises his gun and points it at her face before pulling the trigger.
BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!
He leaves her body there on the floor and goes to check on his son, who is still fast asleep. After he’s satisfied that the boy is okay, he lies down on the floor beside him and falls asleep.
Eternal slumber takes him and all is quiet.
Sources & references used in this article:
Facilitation of tiger moths by outbreaking tussock moths that share the same host plants by R Karban, P Grof‐Tisza… – Journal of Animal Ecology, 2012 – Wiley Online Library
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GLOW? by CY GARDEN – 1996 – dhhs.tas.gov.au
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids in arctiid moths (Lep.) with a discussion on host plant relationships and the role of these secondary plant substances in the Arctiidae by M ROTHSCHILD, RT Aplin, PA Cockrum… – Biological Journal of …, 1979 – academic.oup.com
Larval survival, host plant preferences and developmental responses of the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) on wild brassicaceous … by RM Sarfraz, LM Dosdall, AB Keddie… – Entomological …, 2011 – Wiley Online Library