Cankerworm/Looper/Gypsy Moth Fund Raising Flyer

Discussion in 'Shannondale Gypsy Moth Comittee' started by campbell, Nov 10, 2014.

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  1. campbell

    campbell SGMC Moderator

    Aug 31, 2004
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    The last aerial Gypsy Moth treatment of Shannondale/River View Park/John Brown Farm was done in 2008. It was successful and no treatments have been needed since then. The Shannondale Gypsy Moth Committee (SGMC) extends sincere thanks to all who have contributed toward spraying costs. The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) has completed the 2014 Gypsy Moth egg mass surveys and no treatment to suppress the Gypsy Moth caterpillar will be needed in Shannondale/RVP/JBF in 2015.

    A new problem that we are now facing is the Cankerworm (Inchworm/Looper). There was a massive outbreak of these caterpillars in Spring 2014 and many of the trees in Shannondale were stripped bare of leaves to the point that browning on the mountain could be seen for miles. Cankerworm populations have been building in our community for the past two years and totally exploded in 2014. Heavy defoliation occurred in 901 acres and light defoliation in 1020 acres. WVDA will monitor the Cankerworm moth populations over the upcoming fall/winter at 30 sites in our survey block to determine if we will have another outbreak next year and, if so, what areas will need treatment. These Cankerworms are native pests but can cause serious defoliation and extreme damage to many kinds of trees. Trees can typically sustain one year of damage but if there are several successive years of defoliation tree mortality is a real possibility.

    To protect our forested land the SGMC is requesting contributions for aerial treatment with BT to suppress the Cankerworm as well as the Gypsy Moth caterpillars when needed. We need to raise enough funds to treat for Cankerworms in 2015 in all of the recommended areas, so your contribution is extremely important. The anticipated cost of BT for 2015 is $40 per acre. There is no Federal cost sharing for Cankerworm treatment like there is for Gypsy Moth treatment. If WVDA finds that the Cankerworm populations have collapsed and that treatment is not needed, the money raised will be used for future Gypsy Moth and/or Cankerworm treatment.

    Neither of these caterpillars can be eliminated and can only be suppressed for periods of time. Outbreaks of both are likely to happen and the SGMC will update land owners on the status of both of these pests and contributions needed to fight them.

    If you donate please complete the short form below and send it with your contribution to: Shannondale Gypsy Moth Fund, 24A Upper Clubhouse Dr., Harpers Ferry, WV 25425. Any amount would be greatly appreciated. If you do not wish to have your property treated please send written notification by 3/1/15 with your property address to the above address. If you have any questions or want to volunteer to help us fight these terribly destructive pests please contact Camille Campbell, SGMC Chairperson, at 304-270-6282 or

    NAME: ___________________________________CONTRIBUTION: _____________
    PHONE NUMBER:__________________________DATE________________________
    ADDRESS: ____________________________________________________________***_
    EMAIL ADDRESS:_______________________________________________________





    The gypsy moth caterpillar is the most serious insect pest to invade West Virginia and has great potential to erupt at any time. Beginning in the Boston area in 1869 and now reaching into West Virginia, the gypsy moth is devastating forests. From mid-summer the moth lays eggs in masses of up to 1000 or more. These buff colored masses remain dormant until the next April or May when larvae hatch and climb to eat tree foliage. They feed for 6-8 weeks and crawl or are blown by wind to spread across an even wider area. The caterpillars feed on over 300 species of trees and shrubs, with oak species favored, but also alder, apple, aspen, poplar, blue spruce, sumac, willows, birches, box elder, red gum, hawthorn, larch and mountain ash. Within a year of infestation severe defoliation will occur and several repeated defoliations will kill the trees. Coniferous trees can die after a single defoliation while deciduous trees can survive one or two. The WV Department of Agriculture (WVDA) surveys for egg masses and conducts an aerial suppression program to treat heavily infested areas to prevent successive and expanding defoliations.

    (Excerpts from 5/28/14 WVDA Press Release)
    Fall cankerworms are overrunning Eastern Jefferson County from around Harpers Ferry to the Shannondale area, according to Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick. Although the insects [Alsophila pometaria (Harris)] are harmless to humans, fall cankerworm frass (droppings) can be a nasty nuisance beneath trees, as can worms descending to the ground on silk strands. Once there, they will burrow into the ground until fall when they will emerge as moths to reproduce, giving them their name.
    They favor basswood, elm, hickory, maple, oak, birch, apple, ash, beech and cherry. This wide variety of hardwood hosts can result in large areas of defoliation when populations are high. Healthy trees can usually rebound from the defoliation, but excessive damage can stress them enough to kill them, particularly when it occurs in successive years.
    Historically, large cankerworm outbreaks tend to collapse after two or three years due to the impact of several natural factors, including disease and predation by birds and other insects. However, populations in eastern Jefferson County have been building the last two seasons and a more-widespread West Virginia outbreak is a possibility.

    (Excerpt from 6/19/2014 WVDA CSCL Program Brochure)
    Carefully selected treatment materials (to use in aerial spraying) are the most effective method in preventing defoliation and the rapid spread of these destructive insects. One of the principal treatment materials used in the WVDA program is Btk (Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki) Btk is a bacterium commonly found in forest soils worldwide. It has become one of the most valuable biological pest management tools for a variety of agricultural, forestry, and urban pests. While it is toxic to target pests, it is very safe in regard to humans and animals. For example, different formulations of the same biopesticide are labeled to be applied to organic grains such as shelled corn and soybeans during storage and/or to organic bagged grains (popcorn) to prevent Indian meal moth.
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