One of the main pests on apples and pears is codling moths. The moth itself doesn’t harm the fruits, but their caterpillars burrow into the core of the fruit to feed over the summer months causing a great deal of damage to the inside of the fruits. Commercially grown apples are sprayed with insecticides, but there are no effective chemical controls available to home-gardeners. An excellent chemical free way to reduce the damage cause by the grubs is to use Pheromone traps in the tree.
These are very simple to use and they work by luring the male moths into the trap by using the scent of the female moth. Once inside they become trapped on a sticky paper. Originally used on fruit farms to monitor the activity of the small brown moth in preparation for spraying, in a garden situation they work very well by reducing the number of male moths that would normally breed with females! Fewer fertilised females of course means fewer caterpillars to burrow into the fruits. One trap will protect several trees and when used annually they really do help to reduce the Codling moth population. Traps are usually hung in the trees around mid to late May as the moths become active and they are available mail order or from garden centres.