Home-made Codling Moth Traps

2016 codling moth traps 1

Home-made Codling Moth Traps Recipe

This year we’re trying a recipe for home-made Codling Moth traps, using liquid molasses. The ingredients are as follows:

  • 100ml (0.5 cup) liquid molasses (not the crystalised sugar type)
  • 1 litre (2.5 cups)warm water
  • 3g (0.5 tspn) dried baker’s yeast

Mix it all together in a jug – apparently the Codling Moth is attracted to the smell of molasses, and the yeast increases the number of volatiles in the concoction. 2016 codling moth traps 2I have absolutely no idea if this works as I’m not a chemist, but a youtube video from Utah University says it does, so who am I to argue?

This is enough liquid to fill three plastic 4-pint milk cartons. I simply cut a hole in the one side so that once it’s hung in the tree by twine around the handle, the hole is facing downwards, on the opposite side to the handle. There’s only about 4cm (1.5″) of liquid in each carton, and I’ve bent the tab up created by cutting the hole only on three sides, to create a small overhang, preventing rain water from getting in and diluting the mix. home-made Codling Moth trapsI may cut another hole on the other side though, as someone has suggested this will help move the smell around the orchard.

These Codling Moth traps need placing in the trees from May through to August, and I’m going to initially change them every month, unless they look as though they need changing more frequently. We have them every fourth tree or so at the moment, but I’ll keep adding to to them as we get through the milk!


2016 plum moth trapsPlum Moth Traps

Whilst poddling down the orchard I also set some Plum Moth traps – again, I have no idea if they’ll work but we had wormy plums at the tree next to the house last year, so time will defintely tell! With these types of trap, one pheromone bait will last the entire season, which is less hassle than the home-made molasses version for the apple trees.

2 replies
  1. Matt Eldridge
    Matt Eldridge says:

    Hi, thanks for this post from a few years back. I’m wondering how these homemade codling moth traps worked for you. Were they successful in any measurable way? Did you end up using one or two holes in the cartons?

  2. Dunk
    Dunk says:

    Hi Matt,

    It’s funny but we’re still doing it, even though we have no other orchard to test it against! Having found that you can buy molasses in the UK cheaply if it’s for equine use, it’s the sort of thing that doesn’t break the bank on a suck-it-and-see basis. As the orchard is still fairly young our incidence of codling moth damage is still quite low – that is all we can personally go on! According to many sites it’s the sweetness that attracts them – but of course it does attract other insects too.

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