Invasion of the Winter Moths at Magnolia Historical Society

winter moths

I’m sure you’ve noticed them everywhere the last couple of days.  Driving over to Magnolia last night for the Magnolia Historical Society opening of Art in the Schoolhouse with Charlie Carroll, it was like driving in a brown blizzard.  They are pictured here all over the front door of the place at 46 Magnolia Ave.  Also pictured are some of the partygoers at the opening.  If you missed the opening, stop by Saturday and Sunday (12/7&8, 14&15 or 21&22) from 10:00 – 2:00.  The moths may or may not still be there but the great artwork, cards, prints, calendars, books and more still will be (whatever hasn’t been sold anyway).

art in the schoolhouse opening

Now more about the Winter Moth.

The Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata) is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is an abundant species of Europe and the Near Eastand one of very few Lepidoptera of temperate regions in which the adults are active in the depth of winter.

The female of this species is virtually wingless and cannot fly, but the male is fully winged and flies strongly.

Winter Moths are considered an invasive species in North America; Nova Scotia experienced the first confirmed infestations in the 1930s. The moth is now found in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine.[1] In Massachusetts, the moths have attracted the attention of several media outlets due to the severity of the infestation.[2] In northern Rhode Island, damage to fruit orchards has been attributed to winter moth, and it is now reported in mid-southern Rhode Island (Bristol/Barrington area and Warwick). Efforts at biological control are underway.[3] There have been unconfirmed reports of infestations in southern New Hampshire.

Wikipedia

Here’s a link to an article Kim Smith wrote about the relationship between songbirds
and the Winter Moth, back in 2010.  http://kimsmithdesigns.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/white-throated-sparrow-zonotrichia-albicolli/

E.J. Lefavour

4 thoughts on “Invasion of the Winter Moths at Magnolia Historical Society

  1. I wonder if the old bug zapper lights are still made and sold somewhere. I’d like to try one out to put a dent, however small in the WM population.

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  2. They just wanted to get out of the weather and enjoy the the party – ah sparrows to the rescue balance… And weather conditions affect most insects…

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  3. Winter moth caterpillars are devastating many important deciduous trees in our local. So much so that they can become defoliated and flower/fruit buds cannot develop. They will try to put out another set of leaves and if they too are eaten, the tree becomes weakened. Branches and even the trees can die. Droppings from them in April will sound like rain. Read more info: http://extension.umass.edu/landscape/fact-sheets/winter-moth-overview

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