Trapped!

Codling moths are small, brown moths, and apparently quite common in the Midlands where I was brought up.  I don’t remember seeing one, but I certainly remember seeing the damage caused by their larvae.  The wingless female crawls up fruit trees and lays her eggs on the fruit just as it begins to form.  Apple trees are the favourite, though pear, walnut and quince may also be attacked.  The larvae tunnel into the developing apples, eating as they go.  When they are mature they eat their way out, either using the same tunnel or making a new one, leaving the tiniest of blemishes on the skin. 

 

 

The fruit is still edible, but it’s always a disappointment to cut open an apple which looks fine on the outside, and find codling moth larvae tunnels (or even larvae) on the inside!

 

 

Of course, different methods of trying to stop them are available.  I well remember my dad tying ‘sticky bands’ round the trunk and branches of his apple trees.  Indeed, I was called upon to help on many occasions, especially as advancing years made crawling under trees more difficult for him!  As the trees got older and the bark more fissured I suspect that the moths simply took avoiding action and went underneath the bands!  More recently we tried fruit tree grease, which was not markedly more successful, though wonderfully sticky to brush on.  Now a gadget has appeared on the market – a codling moth trap.

 

 

This contains a lure consisting of female pheromones to attract the males, and a sticky strip to catch them; a more subtle approach perhaps.  My sister decided to try one and it certainly caught quite a number of moths.  Although it’s difficult to quantify, there did seem to be fewer ‘grubby’ apples this year.

 

We have an enemy who is constantly trying to trap us, to trip us up, to lead us astray and spoil our testimony.  Sometimes he is like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:7-8), marshalling his forces in a blatant all-out attack, rather like the ‘sticky bands’.   At other times he disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14-15), tempting us and luring us by more subtle means.

 

May we, by God’s grace, always be alert and watchful.

 

Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.

                                                                                      1 John 2:15-16

 

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Saviour, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.  Amen.

                                                                                      Jude 24-25

 

Christian, seek not yet repose;

Cast thy dreams of ease away;

Thou art in the midst of foes:

Watch and pray.

 

Principalities and powers,

Mustering their unseen array,

Wait for thy unguarded hours:

Watch and pray.

 

Gird thy heavenly armour on;

Wear it ever, night and day;

Ambushed lies the evil one:

Watch and pray.

 

Hear the victors who o’ercame;

Still they mark each warrior’s way;

All with one sweet voice exclaim,

“Watch and pray.”

 

Hear, above all, hear thy Lord,

Him thou lovest to obey;

Hide within thy heart His word:

“Watch and pray.”

 

Watch, as if on that alone

Hung the issue of the day;

Pray, that help may be sent down:

Watch and pray.

 

Charlotte Elliott