Monday, 13 November 2017 11:21

Fighting winter moths on Cape Elizabeth Featured

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Fighting winter moths on Cape Elizabeth

CAPE ELIZABETH (WGME) - There's an epidemic in Cape Elizabeth you may not have heard about, a winter moth infestation.

But now the town is fighting back and protecting its trees.


Winter moths lay eggs in trees during the winter and when those eggs hatch the larva eat the leaves, causing defoliation and tree death.


The town has been infested by the pests for 6 years. 40 to 50 percent of trees in Cape Elizabeth are Northern Red Oaks which are the main hosts for winter moths.


Saturday, the town was out in full force for a tree banding to protect against them. The sticky mesh bands wrapped around trees trap the moths before they can lay their eggs.


Town tree warden Todd Robbins said "You're just trying to protect that specimen. And more than that it's a learning tool for the residents as well. This is what you can be doing at your house. We have hundreds of trees in Cape Elizabeth, but at your home this is one level of integrated pest management that you can use to protect your tree."


Cape Elizabeth's tree warden said it's not a fool-proof method, but it helps manage the infestation and stops widespread tree death. The banding is non-toxic and easy to use.


Cape Elizabeth is banding trees in Fort Williams, Robinson Woods and several other sights around town.