Updates to Resources for Pest Management

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Maps that forecast the life cycle stages of twelve insect pests critical to landscape management and nursery production have recently been improved. The pests include apple maggot, Asian longhorned beetle, bagworm, bronze birch borer, Eastern tent caterpillar, emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, hemlock woolly adelgid, lilac borer, magnolia scale, pine needle scale, and winter moth. The database is maintained by the U.S. National Phenology Network (NPN) and is accessible to anyone.

Maps are updated on a daily basis, according to growing degree day thresholds established for key points in a pest’s life cycle. They estimate life cycle developments up to six days in advance and can be used to gauge when to employ management strategies. For example, the maps provide information such as the timing of caterpillar emergence of Eastern tent caterpillars, at intervals ranging from “now” to two to three weeks, depending on location.

NPN’s site also offers a new and particularly useful feature – the ability to alert subscribers prior to a specified pest’s life stage. For example, users can sign up to receive notifications of winter moth development (or any of the twelve other pests listed above) at their specified location.

NPN also announced a citizen science campaign, called the Pest Patrol, to validate and continue improvement of the maps. Citizen science groups have proved important in pest detection, with one such group in Canada being the first to report box tree moth in all of North America. 

The NPN consists of a staff that works in collaboration with a cadre of volunteers that include researchers, resource managers, educators, and policy-makers. They study plant and insect life cycles in relation to climate. 

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