With help from many MFPC members last summer, the Maine Forest Service dramatically increased the number of trapping sites for spruce budworm moths from about 80-100 to about 400, with three traps placed at each site.
Dave Struble, Maine state entomologist called the expansion, “wildly successful. You know the process was successful, the handoff worked fabulously considering this was the rollout year.”
It also helped confirm that Maine’s budworm population is increasing. “It certainly is not collapsing,” Struble said. “It’s consistent with what the neighbors are seeing. With all this additional effort we filled in the gaps.”
Here is Struble’s “snapshot” of the budworm situation. “We don’t anticipate defoliation this coming year. The folks up in New Brunswick are thinking they may see light defoliation up around Cambelltown . . . We’re part of that same pattern except we’re kind of behind the hot spot leading edge, so it’s kind of spread sideways into us. But I think we’re going to get it. If I thought we were going to get a bye I wouldn’t be nearly so worried. But I don’t think we’re getting a bye on this one and the Quebec situation certainly looks like a mess, including the pictures I’ve seen from up around St. Florence. Now two years ago, that was just light defoliation. They had a few scattered little spots of heavier stuff. This year all of a sudden they had severe defoliation. They’ve already got dead buds on the trees. It’s intensifying very rapidly in those areas.”
For more information, read the full report on the 2014 budworm trapping by Charlene Donahue, MFS forest entomologist.