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Winter Moth hatch coming soon

The UMass Extension has just published a news release concerning The Warm Winter of 2012 and What to Expect From Winter Moth in Massachusetts.

"As of the second week in March 2012, here in MA, we cannot say for sure what the outcome will be this spring for winter moth damage to plants. However, it may be possible that winter moth eggs could hatch perhaps as early as the third week in March this year and that the host trees will still have very tight buds that will prevent the tiny caterpillars from entering, feeding and causing damage thus forcing the tiny caterpillars to starve."

The critical question for this spring seems to be whether the unusually warm weather will cause the winter moth eggs to hatch before the tree buds are opening. If so, then the caterpillars may starve to death. This would be wonderful (from the viewpoint of trees and tree-lovers), not so great for winter moths (are there any winter moth lovers out there? I hope not).

As of March 9, there were a lot of winter moth eggs waiting to hatch, but no sign of hatching yet.


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