We show how to use organza bags and Japanese apple bags to protect apples and pears from worms without spraying. We explain how the worms are the larva of the codling moth, which is a major insect pest of apples and pears. The first half of the video demonstrates attaching the bags to the fruit, and the second half reports the results of our experiment comparing bagged fruit to unbagged fruit. The bags were 99% effective in preventing codling moth; and of the two types of bags, organza bags were much easier to put on and allowed the fruit to develop color without removing the bag.
The video features a Braeburn apple tree that we keep small with summer pruning and also shows our espalier fruit fence in our backyard foodscape.
UPDATE: timing it right is definitely the trickiest part of bagging. To be successful, you want to time it so that the fruit stem is large enough to hold the bag but before moths are laying eggs. This year (2021) we were about week to a week and half late with some of the bags, we’ve noticed more coddling moth damage.
In Utah, check out USU’s IPM Pest Advisories for codling moth treatment dates in your city: https://pestadvisories.usu.edu/category/fruit/
Outside of Utah, look to local State Extension or similar in other countries for guidance with coddling moth timing.
Learn more about espalier fruit trees.