Quarantine: A first in Minnesota's fight vs. spread of gypsy moths

  • Article by: Tom Meersman , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 23, 2014 - 10:49 PM

A proposed quarantine in northeastern Minnesota would help keep the invasive species from infecting woods statewide.

  • 3
  • Comments

  • Results per page:
  • 1 - 3 of 3
woodyagJan. 24, 14 8:08 AM

A non trivial problem. We need the folks in charge to recognize something about this kind of an invasion; in this case, that the invasion front explodes partly because there are no antagonistic pathogens (viruses, etc.) in the new forests they invade. But- there ARE now pathogens of gypsy moth back in the East where they have been long established, and in fact the pathogens now prevent gypsy moth epidemics there that explode. The moth is still there- and populations still get big enough to be ugly - but they don't consume county after county now. We need to be importing sick gypsy moths, and dead moth eggs- from the East; and putting them in our moth explosion- it will decrease the forest damage- and it's fairly cheap, and very specific for this species. DO NOT think of spraying BT - it will wipe out ALL local moths and butterflies, for a purely temporary drop in gypsy moth numbers.

1
0
carlbsJan. 24, 1410:48 AM

I worked in the GM trapping program Summers during college a couple decades ago. With low densities of newly imported moths it is not only effective in detecting moth density, but it is also surprisingly effective in removing them. Once a moth is detected in the pheromone bated trap, we mobilize a crew to search the area for egg masses. It seemed/seems simplistic to me, but considering the fact that to date we are not overrun, it has proven effective. My sister lives in Madison and the GM is loose there. Her trees have been denuded even after the city sprayed BT. Though eventually the GM will establish itself here, it is worth it put off the Madison situation as long as possible. PS, nice posting "woodyag".

1
0
kshrewsburyJan. 24, 14 1:20 PM

The population builds for 7 years before collapsing. The damage in the 6th and 7th years is inestimable. When I lived south of Boston for 15 years, where oak and pine predominate, at first we didn't know it was a big deal so we did not spray our trees (the BT spray Woodyag refers to). Everyone else in the neighborhood did spray, and our trees at only our house, in late June, looked like winter -- I'm sure the caterpillars thanked us. People would drive down the street, slow down, and point. The next year, the 7th year of the cycle, we sprayed, something I would not do again because of its harm to other creatures so I have since avoided planting oak. But it worked. What the article doesn't talk about is how the caterpillars feast on the treetops all day long, and at their peak, for a couple of weeks, you can hear what sounds like a soft rain. It is really the caterpillars defecating. Their droppings, when mixed with (real) rain, turn into a slurry that is worse than ice to walk on and which leaves lovely decorations on your vehicle's windshield. Then new moths start hatching in huge numbers and you need to bat them away to get to your front door. I remember little frightened kids running to avoid them. So this is no little annoyance to the trees or to other living things and we need to do smart things to keep them from taking over our beautiful Minnesota forests.

1
0
  • 1 - 3 of 3

Comment on this story   |  

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Timberwolves season

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT