Mild winters offer opportunity

Photo Maine Forest Service

The Portland Press Herald reported today that the Hemlock  Woolly Adelgid moved further up the coast during Maine’s mild winter, and an infestation was discovered in Harpswell.  This is not good news for Maine’s forest industries, as a severe infestation can kill a tree.  The Maine Forest Service will be treating the infected areas with multiple releases of lady beetles. The bad news continues with reports on a population explosion of the brown tail moth caterpillar in the midcoast area.

Photo Maine Forest Service

The caterpillar has toxic microscopic hairs which can cause a poison-ivy like rash or respiratory problems.  The moths, European invaders, benefited from the mild winter and early spring and the population has exploded.  Our best hope is that many of them starve as their early appearance deprived them of adequate forage.  While I love a mild winter, I’m not sure it is worth the springtime trauma!

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2 Responses to “Mild winters offer opportunity”

  1. Robin Says:

    I have never heard of those before. That is too bad. At least they have a predator in the lady beetles.

  2. jeannie Says:

    We had a similar exposion down here in the northern Catskills. But alot of the trees did recover. In early summer we say a whole hill side eaton away by these pests, then I noticed about a month later, the trees were getting their leaves back! and we did have some pretty fall foliage, in the fall season. So please don’t fret, sometimes an end is the beginning for something new.

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