Sunday, May 26, 2013

Winter Moths

   The leaves have finally unfolded, they are beautiful Spring green and full of holes.
Late last Fall/early Winter, when driving home , I drove through like what looked like a snowstorm, made up of tiny white moths. Every day for several weeks.
In the evenings every window of the house was covered with swarms of the moths.
I had never seen anything like them, nor did I realize how devastating they can be to the trees.
The moths apparently just arrived in Maine with a landscaper from 'away'. All of those moths laid eggs in the trees during their stay. The leaf eating caterpillar chewed  holes in the leaves that just unfurled. They will then send new cocoons down into the soil to continue the cycle. No plants should be transported inland from May to December, to stop the spreading.
The worry is that the moths will spread into areas where wild blueberries are growing. If they like the blueberry plants ,  it could be damaging to the industry.
There is a certain fly that when released , will eat the moth eggs, but this season only 800 flies were available for 3 towns to share!  that's 266.6 per town, so hopefully we will get more flies and the winter moth will be history.

                           Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

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