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Thread: Gypsy moths

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    vermont
    Posts
    86

    Default Gypsy moths

    Anyone being attacked by gypsy moths. They are everywhere around my shop. Birch and oak trees are bare.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
    Posts
    371

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    I think that the invasion may have driven the gypsy moth north. A person in central PA can't process a thought these days with the noise from the cicada.

    Good thing they aren't here in sugar season, I wouldn't be able to hear my tank alarm over them.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    431

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    Matt, Have you fried any of them up yet. Don't do it if you have a seafood allergy. I saw on the news they were making and serving them as bug tacos and couldn't keep up with the demand.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - only put out 53 taps - made 16.25 gal syrup
    2021 - going for 50 bags and 50 on tubing

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,618

    Default

    Many years ago (mid-1990's I think) we went to Washington D.C. when our daughter was about 10 yrs old. Down on the mall near the Smithsonian there as a "Bug Fest" event going on. One of the tents was about edible bugs. Wife and I weren't real keen on the idea, but hard to say no when your young daughter is eating them and saying try them. So we had candied meal-worms, chocolate grasshoppers and BBQ grasshoppers. Not bad really...basically tasted like what they were in. The only odd thing about eating them was that the exoskeletons don't break down in saliva, so an hour later you'd feel something in your teeth and pull it out and it would be a grasshopper leg or similar. As for the cicada's....we saw them a lot in D.C. back last time they were around and will get to experience them again when we go out to visit our daughter, son-in-law and grandchild in Ohio in the next couple of weeks. Once every 17 yrs is enough I think.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Speyside, Ontario
    Posts
    185

    Default

    We have a couple maples and birch trees in our yard that we'd miss if they were down, so it's a full time job making sure the tree bands are working and also scrapping caterpillars off and drowning them in soapy water.

    We can hear them eating and pooping. It's terrible.
    2015 - 8 buckets, 332L sap, 8.5L syrup - Barrel evaporator, 2 steam pans
    2016 - 8 buckets, 432L sap
    2017 - 10 bags, 470L sap, 9L syrup
    2018 - 20 bags, 1050L sap, 17.6L syrup
    2019 - 20 bags, 970L sap, 22.2L syrup
    2020 - 17 bags, 813L sap, 17L syrup

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Lanark, ON
    Posts
    2,292

    Default

    Eastern Ontario is in a full peak infestation of gypsy moth caterpillars this year. Last year they stripped the oaks, basswood, poplar and birch trees before moving on to the maples and even some evergreen trees. This year I'm afraid they will strip everything bare by the end of June. They get on and in everything and it sounds like a steady rain of their droppings on a cloudless day. This will definitely not help us recover from what was a terrible year for sugar content in our sap.

    I know caterpillars (eastern tent, forest tent and gypsy moth) have an impact on the sugar content the next year and even years beyond but knowing some areas haven't had the infestations we've had for the past 5 years makes me wonder why everyone had a terrible year for sugar content? Is there something cyclical with the trees as well, regardless of external stressors like pests, drought and other weather events?
    4,600 Taps on vacuum
    9,400 gallons storage
    3 tower CDL RO
    3.5'x14' Lapierre Force 5
    Twitter & Instagram: @ennismaple
    www.ennismaple.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
    Posts
    371

    Default

    Matt, Have you fried any of them up yet?
    I tried them the last time they were here. Personally, I wasn't impressed with the taste. Not doing it again.
    Last edited by minehart gap; 06-10-2021 at 04:12 PM.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Speyside, Ontario
    Posts
    185

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    So I've been working combating these fcukers. I sprayed BTK on my smaller landscape trees in the spring.

    I use tanglefoot around a few isolated large trees (most other trees in the forest have too much brush and I figure the caterpillars could just bypass the barrier).
    However it is impossible to get any more tanglefoot since it's sold out everywhere. I scrape any caterpillars blocked by the barrier into soapy water container.

    I saw on youtube that someone had used crisco in a band around the tree. I think it's vegetable based so wouldn't harm the tree. Well, the squirrels loved the stuff even with pepper added.
    It does appear that even the small coating of film left on the tree does prevent the caterpillars from climbing the tree. We'll see if it lasts.

    So... what are alternatives to tanglefoot? I've read about petroleum jelly or even axle grease. This wouldn't be applied directly to the tree but over a plastic base layer.

    Any one want to share any solutions they've found?
    2015 - 8 buckets, 332L sap, 8.5L syrup - Barrel evaporator, 2 steam pans
    2016 - 8 buckets, 432L sap
    2017 - 10 bags, 470L sap, 9L syrup
    2018 - 20 bags, 1050L sap, 17.6L syrup
    2019 - 20 bags, 970L sap, 22.2L syrup
    2020 - 17 bags, 813L sap, 17L syrup

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,618

    Default

    Just a quick note to say that if folks are organic-certified, please check with your certifying agency to see what options are available and allowed. Some of those mentioned would definitely not be.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario
    Posts
    18

    Default

    My sugar bush is infested with gypsy caterpillars and as I've read and noticed their preference are oaks and birch, but will also eat sugar maple leaves. I presume depending on the quantity of leaves they destroy on a sugar maple will result is a reduction in sap production and therefore a reduction in sap harvesting when maple syrup seasom arrives. Does anyone know the percentage effect of reduction in quantity and quality of sap due to the damage and stress to the sugar maples due de-foliage? This invasion as I read is cyclical (8 to 10 years). I hope this is their peak year, as I'd hate to think what they might do in a year worse than this. I believe there was a comparable invasion in the 90's. Just wondering if there are any statistics to reflect the damage they create for us maple syrup producers?
    2021 - 20 Taps Buckets - 60 taps - 3/16" tubing - Gravity
    2020 - 15 Taps Buckets - 5 liters syrup - Propane Turkey Frying Pan
    Thor 18" x 54" - 2021
    Barrie, Ontario CANADA

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