Simeon made this homemade concoction to attract the male codling moths before they mate with the females. We found an old milk plastic container. Made a hole just below the shoulder. The rain can’t get in to dilute the mixture but the moths can crawl up inside. We made up the mixture in just a few minutes. It’s a pheromone or chemical signal that triggers a natural response in another member of the same species. In this case it’s a gender pheromone and it attracts the males. With the males all out of the way the female moths will not be fertilized.

To make the liquid for the trap, mix,

  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses ( we used treacle)
  • 1/8 teaspn ammonia
  • 1 and a half litres water

Prepare a plastic milk or juice jug by cutting small holes just below the jug’s shoulder, facing away from the handle. Fill the jug, cap it, and hang it by the handle using cloth strips to protect the tree limb. The holes should hang down to prevent rain from collecting and diluting the mix.

Hang the jugs when the apple trees are almost done blooming, or if you’re using traps to monitor the orchard, hang them when trap catches indicate that the moths have started to fly. Replace every two weeks while the moths are flying.

Have you thought of putting one in each of your apple trees? Replace every 14 days.