Winter Moth

The Winter Moth has already killed thousands of trees in Cape Elizabeth.

The Winter Moth is an invasive species in Maine and with every passing year the Winter Moth infestation grows. The moth’s targets include maple, oak and ash trees as well as blueberry bushes. The Town of Cape Elizabeth, Fort Williams Park Foundation, Cape Elizabeth Land Trust and other concerned organizations are all taking actions to defend our trees.

For more information see articles concerning moth infestation from the Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News. The Town of Cape Elizabeth also provides a detailed information sheet.

Any sightings of Winter Moth activity should be reported to the Cape Elizabeth Tree Warden.

Moth Identification

Winter Moths may be identified by color and markings. The forewing ground color varies from gray-yellow to beige-brown or occasionally slightly reddish-tinted. The patterns are often band-shaped dark brownish, often indistinct. The fringe is yellowish. The hindwings are pale gray or yellow gray. The antennae are short and finely hairy. The flightless female has a brownish-gray body with rudimentary wing stubs that are brown to gray and have dark bands.

Moth Prevention

The most effective means for preventing the spread of Winter Moths is to use tree banding: a sticky barrier applied to a tree to prevent the flightless females of the species from climbing up trees to lay eggs. The Bug Barrier Tree Band is a recommended product available at Shelter Tree Care (sold out for 2017, try the other distributors of Bug Barrier for more availability).

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