How can you get rid of apple worms?


We have a Liberty apple tree. We planted this variety because it was supposed to be pest resistant. Each year we have the worst case of apple worms I have ever seen.  I believe these worms are from the coddling moth. We use only organic methods in our yard. Can you give us some advice on how to organically control this pest?


Jonathan Foster, Special Project Assistant

I’m sorry to hear about your wormy apples!
Non-chemical controls for codling moth can be slightly tricky, with trapping and fruit bagging the most effective methods (and the latter may or may not be viable for you, depending on your time, access, and capabilities). Good hygiene to remove fallen apples, disposing of apples in an area separate from apple storage, and inspection of all tools and storage equipment are also recommended. Depending on your comfort level with organic pesticides, our Extension fruit tree specialist Glen Koehler says that Surround (kaolin clay) and Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) can be effective in mitigating codling moth issues.

I will include a couple of excellent resources on codling moth:

UMaine Cooperative Extension Codling Moth page

Univ of Minnesota Codling Moth page

Hopefully, you’ll be able to find an approach among these options that will work for you.