UMass Extension Landscape Message April 12, 2013
"Winter Moth: Egg hatch has begun in Southeastern MA as of April 10, 2013. Deborah Swanson has reported that she is seeing blue eggs on host plants and tiny larvae emerging. Temperatures are expected to become much cooler beginning on Thursday April 11th and remain so for a few days; this cooling is expected to slow egg hatch during that time period. However, some winter moth caterpillars are now out and seeking swelling buds of host plants.
From UMass Extension Ã¢ÂÂFruit NotesÃ¢ÂÂ (April 9, 2013) - "Eggs hatch when temperatures average around 55 ÃÂF. It is believed that egg hatch in Massachusetts occurs when 173 GDD above a base of 40ÃÂF (starting Jan 1) have accumulated, which is historically during the second week in April but earlier if temperatures are atypically warmer, depending. This means that egg hatch occurs just at or right before bud break of most of the host plants. After hatching, the larvae wriggle between bud scales of newly swelling buds of such hosts as: maples, oaks, ash, apples, crabapples, blueberry, cherries, etc. and begin feeding"
Some very limited egg hatching had already been observed in Southeastern MA as of Monday 4/8/13. Research from the Elkinton lab at UMass Amherst has been suggesting that approximately 50% hatch would most likely occur in SE Massachusetts around April 15th. Most Winter Moth eggs are now an orange-red color but have already started to turn to a powdery blue color and then turn to a deep and shiny blue about two days prior to hatching. Historically, winter moth egg hatch occurs several days after it begins in SE MA.
A chemical insecticide may need to be applied to target those caterpillars that were not killed by any oil sprays not applied during in the egg stage. Once the larvae are within the buds, there are no controls until the buds open and the caterpillars are exposed. At that time, all products that work well on Lepidopteran (moth) caterpillars work well. Products that contain Spinosad, as the active ingredient, have been utilized widely in recent years for this pest and are extremely effective."
"Ticks are becoming active again. Now that snow cover has disappeared from much of the state and warmer temperatures prevail, ticks are once again seeking hosts for a blood meal. During spring clean-up efforts or any outside activity in tick habitat areas be aware of their presence and follow all precautions."
This post was edited by claire on Fri, Apr 12, 13 at 13:49