Winter Moth UPDATE
Heather Faubert, URI
Winter moth eggs started hatching in Franklin, MA, about 10 miles north of Rhode Island. This site usually has very early egg hatch and there are hundreds of eggs to monitor. Only a very small portion of eggs have changed from orange to blue and even fewer eggs have hatched. Looking at predicted weather, I think apple and blueberry growers not along the coast, should spray an insecticide this weekend. Coastal properties are cooler and we expect eggs to hatch later there. Dormant oil (2-3% solution) added to an insecticide spray can help control winter moth eggs, but temperatures are predicted to be near freezing Saturday night. Dormant oil should not be applied if temperatures are expected to go below 40 degrees for 48 hours after application.
See IPM Berry Blast from 4/4/17 for more information on control options.
Fig. 1) Newly hatched winter moth caterpillars, magnified. Fig. 2) Blue eggs ready to hatch or already hatched, magnified.
Photos by H. Faubert, URI
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This work was supported in part by funding provided by USDA-NIFA Extension Implementation Program, Award No. 2014-70006-22579