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Old 12-09-2010, 10:21 PM   #1
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Default Moth Wars

Moth wars: The fight goes on as the gypsies migrate in state

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The state (Wisconsin) is asking the public to help fight the gypsy moth, a pest whose caterpillar munches through the leaves of many species of trees and shrubs, especially oak trees.
The gypsy moth egg mass is the target. If the egg mass is destroyed, fewer caterpillars will be around next spring.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:27 PM   #2
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FINALLY!!! Somebody's talking some good old fashioned common sense. I've done surveys of gypsy moth and we were told to document their occurrence but to leave the egg casings alone.... I said something.... so did everybody else but nope.... hands off. I twitched through that whole survey wanting to use my fingernails to scratch out every egg case I found and.... I found quite a few. And.... they were showing up on Pinus spp. too.... not just Quercus spp.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:50 AM   #3
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Lib~I am surprised that they'd tell you not to destroy the egg casings! Wow! Isn't the purpose of the surveys to assist in destroying the gypsy moth?

I have found egg casings on pine trees as well. I think when the population is so huge, they lay on whatever surface they can find. I've found them on the siding of the house, under wheelbarrows, everywhere!
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:10 AM   #4
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I am surprised that they'd tell you not to destroy the egg casings! Wow! Isn't the purpose of the surveys to assist in destroying the gypsy moth?” You’d think it would be but…. it usually isn’t. My opinion on this is that if you’ve got volunteers out there… use them in the best interests of the land not on some speculative money grab but…. I wasn’t calling the shots on this one…. somebody else was. Here’s how it works…. guy flies around overhead taking photos of “defoliation”. It’s called a summer aerial defoliation survey. The Dept of Ag reviews the photos then contacts municipalities they think might be candidates for “spray” funds. If the municipality is interested in pursuing “spray” funds…. all they have to do is conduct a survey. More than x# of Lymantria dispar egg cases per acre and they “might” qualify for the gypsy moth suppression program. If they make it through that hoop and have sufficient acreage…. there’s a few more hoops to jump through before the Dept of Ag goes after 50% reimbursement of the costs from the USDA Forest Service. If the Dept of Ag gets a guarantee they’ll get 50% reimbursement…. the municipality has a higher likelihood of getting “approved” for spray funds. One problem…. the process never assured funding at any point along the way and funds run out fast soooooo….. if the end shot is that you’re not approved for “spray” funds…. you’ve just wasted valuable resources…. as in volunteers…. that could have been used to mechanically remove egg masses… egg masses that contain between 500 and a 1000 eggs. Stupid is as stupid does. Makes your head spin, eh?
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:55 PM   #5
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Holy moly! Yes, my head is spinning after all of that! And I didn't realized the egg masses had that many eggs. omg!

Three summers ago, John went nuts with the hose, spraying the eggs to get them off the trees. He'd be out there for hours, with the hose on 'stream', knocking down each mass of eggs he'd find.
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:13 AM   #6
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Images of the gypsy moth lifecycle

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The gypsy moth is not native to Wisconsin. Each year it threatens to strip leaves from the trees in our forests, our city parks, and our neighborhoods. By learning to recognize the gypsy moth during its various life stages you can help fight this invasive pest.
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Old 12-17-2010, 11:16 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by bridget1964 View Post
Holy moly! Yes, my head is spinning after all of that! And I didn't realized the egg masses had that many eggs. omg!
Three summers ago, John went nuts with the hose, spraying the eggs to get them off the trees. He'd be out there for hours, with the hose on 'stream', knocking down each mass of eggs he'd find.
Spraying them off with water won't kill the eggs.

Gypsy Moth in Wisconsin--Pest Management
"MID-OCTOBER—MID-APRIL: Destroy egg masses.
Destroy egg masses by spraying them with a horticultural oil (available at lawn or garden centers) or by scraping them off and killing them. Do not use motor oil. Treating egg masses with oil is preferred if you plan on participating in the suppression spray program as it leaves the egg masses in place to be counted by the programs surveyors. Spray the oil onto the egg mass until it is soaked. If you scrape off egg masses, use a knife to scrape all of the eggs into a jar. Eggs can be killed by microwaving them on high for 2 minutes or by soaking in soapy water for 2 days before discarding them in the trash. Don't just scrape egg masses onto the ground or try to crush them with your shoe as they will survive to hatch next spring."
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:57 PM   #8
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Spraying them off with water won't kill the eggs.

Gypsy Moth in Wisconsin--Pest Management
"MID-OCTOBER—MID-APRIL: Destroy egg masses.
Destroy egg masses by spraying them with a horticultural oil (available at lawn or garden centers) or by scraping them off and killing them. Do not use motor oil. Treating egg masses with oil is preferred if you plan on participating in the suppression spray program as it leaves the egg masses in place to be counted by the programs surveyors. Spray the oil onto the egg mass until it is soaked. If you scrape off egg masses, use a knife to scrape all of the eggs into a jar. Eggs can be killed by microwaving them on high for 2 minutes or by soaking in soapy water for 2 days before discarding them in the trash. Don't just scrape egg masses onto the ground or try to crush them with your shoe as they will survive to hatch next spring."
Oh, no! He is going to be quite upset when I tell him this! Kill them in the microwave? That is just gross!! I think I can handle the soapy water.
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:47 AM   #9
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Runmede's on the money. Spraying off alone won't work. I've usually just scraped em out with my fingernail then dropped them in a jar of soapy water. It makes me feel good to screw the lid on and shake it up a few times.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:31 PM   #10
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In 1988 we had an awful infestation of gypsy moths. I banded my oaks with burlap and would go out with a bucket of soapy water during the day and pick off the caterpillars that were hiding under the burlap. I used tongs because I couldn't stand to pick them off with my hands. There were so many caterpillars you could hear the frass (lep poop) falling at night and the ground was covered with frass. They eat at night and will come down the tree during the day.

Egg masses could be found on everything. The egg masses were also dumped into the bucket of soapy water.

The county in my area began to spray Bt. We've lost many butterfly species due to this spraying in the spring. The Zebra and Pipevine Swallowtails are very susceptible at this time and any other butterfly/moth in the early larvae stages.

Biological controls have been released: flies, wasp, viruses, etc. In New England, a fly was released that began targeting other moths. This fly has almost decimated New England's large silkmoth population.

Good Bugs Gone Bad
"Some moths are more obviously worth protecting. The once-common cecropia moth (Hyalophora cecropia), for example, is one of the largest and most spectacular insects in North America. It is now becoming rare in the Northeast, and a parasitic fly that was supposed to control gypsy moths is apparently the culprit. From 1906 to 1986, Compsilura concinnata, a European fly, was released repeatedly in North America by both the U.S. and Canadian governments as a biocontrol agent. C. concinnata has four generations from May to October, according to George Boettner of the University of Massachusetts, whereas gypsy moth caterpillars are only out in May and June. Says Boettner, "This means Compsilura must be hitting other things as well." A lot of other things. Boettner calculated the number of flies produced on gypsy moths in New Jersey in the 1980s and found that "on average, every two-and-a-half acre plot of forest was producing enough flies to potentially kill 750,000 moths and butterflies in the next generation, per year.""
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