Apple and pear trees are a floral delight in early spring. Many varieties of apples have very pretty pink buds that open to beautiful white petalled bee-attracting flowers and pear trees are covered in a cloud of crisp white delicate blooms.
Spring flowers are the trigger for implementing codling moth control measures. Codling moths are small greyish-brown moths that lay their eggs onto leaves of apple and pear trees, usually near the fruit. The grub of the codling moth tunnel into the fruit, either on the side of the fruit or where the stem emerges. There might be a tell-tale lump of ‘frass’ (a collection of grub droppings on the skin) or if the grub has entered near the stem and eaten into the core there may not be any sign at all, until you cut open the fruit and there’s a grub inside.
Start spraying apple and pear trees every 7 to 14 days from petal fall until a week before harvest. There can be several generations of codling moth between flowering and harvest, hence the need for regular ongoing spraying.