Pest Alert: Watch
for Winter Moth Damage (April 30, 2007)
Now is the time to begin scouting for winter moth
damage on your plants. UMass Extension reports winter
moth larvae are hatching and feeding in expanding
buds in southeastern MA. Known hosts of the winter
moth include maple, oak, apple, crabapple, ash, cherry,
and blueberry. Winter moth populations have been very
high in coastal areas of Massachusetts from Gloucester
to the South Shore and out onto Cape Cod and Martha's
Vineyard. Winter moth has also been observed further
inland in Massachusetts and established populations
are present in Rhode Island. Winter moth has also
been picked up in pheromone traps in southeastern
NH, coastal Maine, southeastern CT and Long Island.
Since winter moth is already established in eastern
Massachusetts, please do not report it with the website’s
on-line reporting system.
Young larvae will feed inside the buds of plants
moving from bud to bud to feed. Once the buds open
larvae will continue feeding on the expanded leaves
until they drop to the soil in late May or early June
to pupate. Winter moth caterpillars are a pale green
“inchworm” with white stripes down both
sides of their body. The winter moth will then be
out of sight until adults emerge in late November
or early December.
Resources on the winter moth:
Photos and information on identifying winter moth
can be found on the Massachusetts Introduced Pests
Outreach website http://www.massnrc.org/pests/pestFAQsheets/winter%20moth.html
UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery, and Urban Forestry
program has posted updated winter moth information.
“Identifying and Managing the Life Stages of
the Winter Moth” has excellent information on
control strategies and photos of winter moth.
The "Caterpillar update" will help you
differentiate winter moth from other caterpillar problems.
The pest alert is from the Massachusetts Introduced
Pests Outreach Project, a collaborative project between
the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
and the UMass Extension Agriculture and Landscape
Program aimed at preventing the establishment of new
pathogens and pests in Massachusetts. Visit the project
for more information on emerging pests or to subscribe
and unsubscribe for pest alerts.