More on Gypsy Moth

More on Gypsy Moth

More on the Gypsy Moth. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

Last week we started a conversation with WSDA’s Public Information Officer, John Lundberg on the effort underway to trap gypsy moth. That’s a bit misleading since the trapping process is not to eliminate the moth but to help track its progress and so far there has been a negligible return here in the state.

LUNDBERG: We have never had a permanent population of gypsy moths in the State of Washington. We’ve had over 5000 catches – introductions since the first moth was caught in 1974 and the first treatment was conducted 5 years later when we concluded that we now had a reproducing population, we have conducted 85 individual treatments and everyone has been successful.

Gypsy moth attack just about any leaf bearing tree and even some evergreen trees and can pretty well strip all the leaves from the tree. That includes fruit bearers like apples. Lundberg says when they have a certain number of catches; they will go in and spray an area.

LUNDBERG: We do that in the spring, we will conduct a very intensive trapping program that summer – we come back the next summer – same identical area, same number of intensive traps and if we don’t catch a moth for two consecutive years then we say that treatment was successful and that’s exactly what’s happened 85 times.

That’s good news but some eastern U.S. states are virtually invested with the moth.

LUNDBERG: They treat thousands of acres every year by helicopter not with the idea of getting rid of it but simply to either make a fairly large infestation smaller and in some cases they don’t even do that. They say look we can’t even make is smaller what we’re going to try to do is limit the growth of this area to that which Mother Nature does.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.


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