25 May, 2013 - What's In Kevin's Bag
19 hours ago
APRIL is the cruellest month, breedingWhen T.S. Eliot wrote these words, he had an English spring in mind, not the frigid weather that often descends on us poor northern folk when we're supposed to be enjoying Easter flowers and warm sunshine.
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
• Right now, look at all of your trees, scrape and destroy egg masses to reduce the number of caterpillars during the season. Don't just scrape onto the ground, instead burn them or soak them in kerosene or soapy water. The picture at the right shows you what they look like.For more information: The U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service has an informative and well illustrated website about gypsy moth and a list of trees that are most affected.
• Watch for small caterpillars in late spring. A garden hose has enough water pressure to knock them off the leaves and tree trunks and kill them, especially when they are very small.
• Wrap a piece of burlap cloth that's folded in half lengthwise around tree trunks. Caterpillars feed at night and they crawl into the burlap fold to escape the heat during the day. Collect and destroy caterpillars each afternoon. An insecticidal soap spray also kills them. You can squish them if you're not too squeamish, or hand pick and drown them in a bucket of soapy water.
• Trap male moths by hanging pheromone (sex hormone) traps on the trees. These traps act as decoys and prevent male moths from mating with female moths.
• In severe infestations, apply the biological insecticide Bacillus thurigiensis kurtsaki (Btk). This kills the caterpillars, but is only effective when they're quite small. The best time to apply Btk is when the bridal wreath spirea shrub is in bloom.