Last September 2015 the gypsy moth department began conducting a survey for gypsy moth egg masses on private property outside last spring’s 17,250 treated acres. Once completed, the department remained vigil by spot checking within the treated acreage until closing the office in November. The field work collected insufficient egg mass counts for spraying this coming spring in Roscommon County; possibly making it a first in the departments’ history. This success story may be attributed to the job done by the department last April & May during the hatch and treatment period which consisted of the following:
• Gathering daily field data to determine the best treatment time (May 28 & 29, 2015)
• Contracting with the experienced aerial applicator Al’s Aerial Spraying, LLC’, Ovid, MI
• Treating the acreage with an Organic Certified Pesticide – Foray 48B
• The Weather conditions – allowed a two day consecutive treatment period.
• The cooperation from County Administration and the many landowner’s
The gypsy moth is in the insect order Lepidoptera, which contains moths and butterflies, known for their beauty and, in some instances, for their destructiveness. Lepidopterans are characterized by having a complete metamorphosis, with larvae (caterpillars) transforming into pupae, and then metamorphosing into adult butterflies or moths.
Not all forest pests come into the United States by accident; some of them have help. The gypsy moth was purposely brought from Europe to the United States in 1869 by a Frenchman named Leopold Trouvelot. A naturalist and entrepreneur, Trouvelot wanted to start a North American silk industry by crossing the gypsy moth, a native insect to France, with North American silkworms. His experiments took place in Medford, a small community near Boston, Massachusetts. The idea failed and Trouvelot returned to France but not before some of the insects escaped from his laboratory. The surrounding forest contained plenty of food and few natural enemies; within 20 years, gypsy moths become a serious local pest.
Since the turn of the century, gypsy moth caterpillars have stripped oak and other broad-leaf forests bare through the northeastern United States and Canada. Strict quarantines and eradication attempts failed to prevent the slow spread. Over 28 years ago the first meeting for Roscommon County residents interested in fighting the expected invasion of gypsy moths was scheduled for March 26, 1988 at the Gerrish Township Hall.
Any threat to our forests affects us all. Residents, cottagers, tourists, naturalists, hunters, anglers, farmers and those who depend on the forest industry for their livelihood, have a stake in protecting and maintaining forest health.
As a reminder: moving firewood can also be a vector for many invasive species including gypsy moth. As a rule: “Don’t Move Firewood”. Did you know the State of Michigan is a quarantined State for gypsy moth and if you are moving your household into or through any non-quarantine State or area you must meet legal requirements. It’s the law!
How do you know if you’re moving to a non-quarantine State or area and are meeting this legal requirement? Visit www.YourMoveGypsyMothFree.com and click on the U.S. map to find out if you live in a quarantine area. If you do you will need to:
1) Print the self-inspection list or pick one up at the gypsy moth office in the County building in Roscommon. For assistance contact the office at: (989) 275-7135
Fax: (989) 275-3170 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or come to the office location: 500 Lake Street, Roscommon.
2) Inspect all outdoor items you are moving for the gypsy moth and remove all life stages of this destructive insect before you move. If you or a hired moving company doesn’t do this inspection you and your moving company may face penalties.
3) If you cannot complete the inspection by moving day, you must protect the items from the possibility of infestation by sealing them under a tarp or keeping them indoors or in a closed moving truck.
4) Remove and destroy any egg masses you find. Scrape them off with a putty knife, stiff brush, or similar hand tool into a container of soapy water. Dispose of egg masses and other life stages. Check each item off on your checklist as you go, and complete the requested information.
5) During your move, keep copies of the completed checklist in the vehicle moving the goods in case of State officials requesting it at any point during your trip. If you are not driving, provide a copy to the driver. This completed checklist is an official certificate that will satisfy the requirements of all non-infested States.