WNC Orchard Insect Pest Populations – May 1, 2024

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Apple orchardCodling Moth: Apples range from post petal fall to first cover throughout the region, with egg hatching beginning in lower elevations. Cumulative degree-days (DD) range from about 160 in Henderson County to 285 in Cleveland County. With egg hatch underway in lower elevations (e.g., <1500 ft), an initial insecticide targeting codling moth may be necessary if not using mating disruption or not monitoring populations with pheromone traps to obtain information on the intensity of populations. Based on the weather forecast, 250 degree days (beginning of egg hatch) will occur early next week in Henderson County and at similar elevations. With low codling moth populations, which is the case in many orchards, an initial insecticide application can be delayed until about 350 DD (predicted to occur on May 9 in Henderson County).

In orchards using mating disruption for codling moth, a single insecticide application for first generation codling moth is usually sufficient, and ideal timing is to coincide with TABM control, which occurs at the second or third cover spray.

For insecticide resistance management purposes, do not use insecticides from the same MOA group (see table below) against both the first and second codling moth generation. The second generation will occur in July.

San Jose Scale (SJS): For those growers targeting crawlers, an insecticide targeting this insect should be applied within the next week. The most highly rated insecticides for SJS are Esteem, Centaur, and Movento. Due to insecticide resistance concerns, do not rely on the same insecticide in consecutive years; instead rotate products with different modes of action on an annual basis. Assail also has good activity against SJS, which will further benefit scale control if used over the next several weeks. It should be noted that Esteem and Assail both have activity against codling moth, with Esteem being a good ovicide and Assail providing suppression of adults and larvae.

European Red Mite (ERM): For those choosing a preventive management program for ERM, options include Agri-Mek, Apollo, Savey, Envidor and Zeal. Agri-Mek needs to be applied no later than 1st Cover, and ideally at petal fall. The remaining products should be applied at or shortly between 1st and 2nd cover, and/or before mites increase to 1 or 2 mites per leaf. Again, resistance development is a concern when relying on the same mode of action in consecutive years, so it is strongly recommended to rotate products with different mode of actions on an annual basis (see table below).

Recommended Insecticides/Miticides Options for Upcoming Sprays

(Relative Efficacy 5 = excellent, 1= poor, ― no activity or no data)


Codling Moth

San Jose Scale

Preventive ERM

MOA group 4A



MOA group 5


MOA group 6


MOA group 7C



MOA group 10






MOA group 16


MOA group 23




MOA Class 28







Learn more about southeastern apple insect pests at the Apple Insect Management page.

2024 Average Weekly Trap Captures

Insects per trap
Apr 15 Apr 22 Apr 29
Codling moth  0.5 4.5 1.0
Oriental fruit moth 103.0 60.0 28.5
Tufted apple bud moth 2.0 3.0 11.0
Redbanded leafroller 2.0 4.0 6.0
Obliquebanded leafroller 0.0 0.0 0.0
Lesser appleworm 0.0 0.0 0.0
Apple maggot (abandoned and research orchards)
Brown marmorated stink bug (commercial) 1.0 0.7 0.0
Brown marmorated stink bug (unsprayed) 1.0 0.7 0.0
Spotted tentiform leafminer 2.0 2.0 0.0
Dogwood borer 0.0 0.0 0.0
Peachtree borer 0.0 0.0 0.0
Lesser peachtree borer 3.0 4.0 2.0
San Jose scale 0.0 0.0 0.0

*Note that these averages illustrate only the timing of insect emergence and fluctuations in populations, and are not representative of population levels in any given orchard. The only way to have an accurate assessment of an individual orchard’s populations is to set up traps in that orchard.

2024 Accumulated Degree Days

Apr 15 Apr 22 Apr 29
Codling moth (Biofix: April 15) biofix 77 139
Oriental fruit moth (Biofix: March 15) 288 401 490
Tufted apple bud moth (Biofix: April 15) biofix 107 196

About degree-day models

2024 Pest Population Trends

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