Winter Moths

Edgartown, MA(Zone 7a)

Is anyone planning on treating any of their deciduous trees or shrubs in an attempt to prevent winter moth damage this year? I am thinking of spraying the trunks of my thirty eight blueberry shrubs with dormant oil. I did not have any damage last year but this winter has been so warm that I saw the male moths well into January. Katy

http://www.umass.edu/umext/ipm/featured_pest/archive/winter_moth.pdf
http://www.umass.edu/umext/ipm/featured_pest/archive/winter_moth_faq_03.pdf

Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

The spring of '04 was the worst here. I had a young White Ash tree at the back of my berry garden that was completely defoliated. When the caterpillars could find nothing else to eat in the tree, they dropped down and ate my strawberries and blackberries.
I wasn't happy with that tree in the first place and this action caused me to cut it down.
I spray a good size Bobwhite Crab Apple tree twice very early in spring to get the flowers and fruit. The fruit are bird food in winter so I can't let the moths get them.
I also spray my fruit trees for 'everything' so they are protected.
Spring of '05 was much better but the Gypsy Moths were on the rise.
A state agency released some parasitic flies last spring in an effort to reduce the winter moth numbers. The process may take up to 7 years to get the numbers down though.
The number of moths that I've seen flying around this season is less than previous years so maybe there is hope.
Andy P

Mystic, CT(Zone 6b)

Are they the little green caterpillars that were all over my maples this last year? They are a fairly new introduction here in Ct. I think. I hope my new Magnolia and Crabapple will be ok.

Does anyone know what the best Hort Oil product is? I have been trying to find something for the Crab because the nursery guy said I should get some. I could never spray the Norway Maple in my front yard -it's like 50 feet tall. It wouldn't make a difference anyway, because my neighbor has one in her yard right on the other side of our house.

The moths don't have any natural predators do they? I'm thinking of smearing peanut butter on my tree to draw the woodpeckers to it. They usually hang out on the other side of the house by the bird feeders.

Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

Ivy, Check the links above that runktrun posted.
Yes they are the little inchworm type caterpillars. The crabapple is a favorite of theirs.
I didn't know they were in CT too. Have you seen any small gray moths flying around in the past couple of months?
Andy P

Mystic, CT(Zone 6b)

Sarahskeeper- Probably. My 5 year old loves moths so she was going around saying "look Mommy, there's a moth" and I just went "uh-huh" and didn't pay any attention. I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, but we've had such warm weather this year, I probably would've chalked it up to that.

A lot of Oceangirl's (Cape Cod) plants were completely defoliated last year. She was pretty upset and posted on a thread. That was the first I'd heard of the pest. I had never noticed the little green caterpillars in such great numbers on our maples before last year.

I looked at the websites above for info on Hort oil, but could not find anything specific. Dormant oil is heavier I think, than other products. At this rate, I won't be able to use it. You have to spray it after the plant goes dormant, and this weather is too funky to know if that has happened. I have done research on the web and was thinking Neem Oil might be the way to go, but I just don't know. Maybe I'll post on the Products forum to see what they say.

W Hartford, CT(Zone 6a)

Hort oil -- AllSeasons oil is one brand -- comes in both RTU and concentrate.Sun Co. also makes (or made) one called Ultrafine. I've used both for quite a few years and they work well.Can be used any season, but shouldn't be used too many times a year - you don't want a build-up of the oil.
Sarah

Edgartown, MA(Zone 7a)

Thanks Sarah I think I am going to spray the trunks with all seasons in early-mid March prior to the time the eggs are suppose to hatch. Yesterday I did a visual exam of my blueberries including pulling some of the bark back but I didnít come across what I thought were eggs. Last springs certain pockets of my community were seriously defoliated and aside from the obvious stress this put on the trees and shrubs it was disappointing to miss out on the beauty of spring after a long New England winter. Katy

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

We had a family picnic at a local park. They were so infested with the caterpillars that you could actually hear them!!! Disgusting!!! I'm not sure what the noise was, probably their droppings hitting the dry leaves, but yuck!!!

Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

Anita, Those were probably Gypsy moth. I don't think the nasty Winter moth has reached you yet. You will know when they arrive when you see them flying around in December.
I remember when I was enjoying a night time motor cycle ride in rural CT and hit a section of road where the Gypsies were dangling on their threads so thickly we almost had to stop. They were all over us. That's a big YUCK.
My motorcycle days are long past but I'll never forget that ride.
Andy P

Mystic, CT(Zone 6b)

Yucck. Gypsy moths are horrible! When I first moved here they were everywhere. Disgusting, messy. Ick.

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

Yes you are right..This is the bugger...yuck!!!!!! I remember being out one summer when my house was still our summer home - If I had to guess I would say around 1970 - the house was black with these critters!!!

Thumbnail by Anitabryk2
Brockton, MA(Zone 6a)

Nasty bug.
Great pic.

Long Island, NY(Zone 6b)

not my pic - I got if off the web, but I thought it might help seeing them

Mystic, CT(Zone 6b)

I did notice a few this last year. Do you think they are coming back? I remember walking down the front walk of our house and they were just hanging down in long sticky webs everywhere.

Burlington, MA(Zone 6a)

Hi, my first time posting here. :-)

I am very concerned about the winter moths this year. Last year was the first time I had them and they did a terrible job on my trees. I had considered using dormant oil in the early spring, but someone pointed out to me that unless you can spray all your large trees and the neighbors all spray theirs, you are still going to get some and they can swing into your trees from surrounding trees. So unless I want to hire a service to come with equipment and spray the tops of the trees I am not sure it will be worth the trouble. Anyone else hear that?

Edgartown, MA(Zone 7a)

I came across this page with photos that might be helpful. Prairie I think your right it may be a loosing battle but if we have a warm day in March I might still try it on my blueberries and crabapples. Katy

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