Oriental Fruit Moth on Peach and Cherry Trees

Asked September 1, 2020, 10:58 AM EDT

Hi, Last fall we planted some small fruit trees in our yard, and this year the tips of the trees turned black with some wilted and dead leaves and a bit of oozing. The internet told me this was signs of the oriental fruit moth (or codling moth - wasn't sure if these are the same or not). I have three cherry trees and one peach tree, and this spring I just concentrated on pruning so there was no fruit, but next year I expect fruit and would love to get on top of these moths. So far the internet has told me I should purchase traps to see when they are active and then spray with BT, but I wanted to get the opinion of an expert on how to handle them. Do you recommend a certain treatment over another. Do you have a timeline for Woodford county to treat them? Should I trim back all the infected branches. If so how far back? Or will trimming them just open them up to more infestation? Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Woodford County Kentucky

1 Response

Hello, Thanks for reaching out. This does appear to be oriental fruit moth damage. Oriental fruit moth attacks peaches, among other fruits, and coddling moth primarily damages apple trees. So most likely this is oriental fruit moth. We have a great publication on this pest: https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef212
As far as pruning, if the shoots are dead you can trim them off.
Late May or petal fall (right after bloom) would be the time to spray for this pest. Spinosad is a natural product like Bt and is recommended for control. Permethrin is the other insecticide option for control but is not organic. We also recommend a pheromone trap and you just need one for a backyard orchard. The trap should be placed in the inside of the tree at eye level or higher just before bloom. This publication provides information on what sprays to use for oriental fruit moth and what time of year to spray: https://plantpathology.ca.uky.edu/files/ppfs-fr-t-22.pdf