How Does the Worm Get into the Apple?
How often have you bitten into an apple and found a little white “worm”? The apple worm is really the caterpillar, or larva, stage of a small brown moth known as the “codling” moth. In spring, the first codling moths appear and lay their eggs on apple trees. The white caterpillars that hatch bore into the growing apples and eat the fruit.
When the apples fall from the trees, the worms crawl out and hide in the bark of the trees, where they change into adult moths. Later, they emerge and fly about looking for apples on which to lay their own eggs.
The adult codling moth is a dainty, brownish colored insect. Her downy wings are less than two inches wide. The front wings have a bluish cast and pair of pale yellow, brown rimmed eyes painted near the edges. The back wings look like two little bamboo fans. She neither eats nor spoils an apple herself but she is a menace, nevertheless.
Come fall, all the adults, eggs, pupa and young worms perish. Only a few fat older worms survive the winter by hiding in the crevices of the apple tree bark. Millions of dollars are spent every year to keep down these orchard pests. Yet every year enough of them survive to spoil five to ten percent of the apple crop.