Winter Moth Larvae 2018

Winter Moth Larvae 2018

Although the “word on the street” is that winter moth larvae damage isn’t going to be as bad this year, I have seen them on every property I’ve visited in the past ten days. They are still very small, so the damage they are doing is only noticeable when you look at a plant closely. But if you have maple, birch, apple, cherry, crabapple, roses or small beech trees you might want to spray with Bt or spinosad, (Captain Jacks) adding some Turbo spreader-sticker to your sprayer so that it sticks on the leaves. If your fruit trees are in flower and you’re using spinosad, wait to spray until after the blooms fade so that you avoid hitting the bees: this bacteria isn’t a problem when it’s dry, but if the wet product hits the bees it causes them to not return to the hive.

If you spray now you’ll protect your trees from greater damage, and help keep the population of these moths down for next year as well.

NOTE: Also feeding now are the larvae of the rose slug…it eats the underside of rose leaves, leaving the foliage skeletonized and brown. Spray with spinosad, trying as much as possible to get the product on the underside of the leaves.

Here is one example that I picked off a tree in Cotuit. The hole in this leaf wasn’t visible from a distance but once I looked closely I could see several leaves with holes.

A cherry tree that was beginning to show signs of damage – this shot from a property in Mashpee.

I spotted a group of lovely sand cherry shrubs that were flowering in Truro. When I looked closely, I could see larvae on many of the leaves. This little green larva is easy to spot on a purple leaf.

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