How to Keep Caterpillars Away From Your Fruit Garden

Keep these crawlies away from your crops.

In the spring, the codling moth lays its eggs on the leaves or on the young fruit of apple, pear and quince trees. Its larvae–tiny caterpillars that tunnel into the fruit to eat the seeds–will leave your crop incurably worm eaten. Prevent a second codling moth infestation by simply tying a strip of corrugated cardboard around the trunk of each of your trees.

After feasting on your tasty apples, pears and quinces, the caterpillars will make their way down the trunk towards the ground, where they will then nestle in the cardboard, which is an ideal place for the larvae to turn into moths. In the late winter, before they emerge from their chrysalises, make sure to remove the cardboard and burn it quickly. In this way, you can manage and control the moths by destroying the next generation.

Another method of attracting and trapping codling moths is to hang sticky traps in the trees. These traps are available in various colors, with each color attracting different pests. Some of these traps even have a pheromone scent that makes them even more effective. These traps attract the codling moths, which then get stuck and can be disposed of right away. If you eat figs, you may have eaten this insect by accident. 

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest