It’s been a busy 2015 research season – and fortunately the bulk of our field work is finally nearing its end. We made solid progress in our efforts to manage emerging ‘hot spots’ of spruce budworm activity along the northern New Brunswick border.

At this time last year, our trap surveys and branch samples indicated that there were two locations showing signs of increasing budworm populations in New Brunswick: one near the Quebec border north of Edmundston and the other just south of Campbellton (Fig. 1). These hot spots served as another opportunity to experimentally test the Early Intervention Strategy approach, where we target small, newly rising populations in an attempt slow the spread of budworm further in NB as well as the surrounding Atlantic provinces. To suppress these hot spots, we treated the area near Edmundston with a single application of Mimic and the area near Campbellton with two applications of Btk. Early results provide us with a roadmap to plan the 3rd year of the project.

The spruce budworm pheromone (flake form) are also being used in the research. They are used to disrupt mating cycles.

In the coming weeks and months we will be discussing some of the more interesting results we’ve obtained this past year in more detail. Through these discussions we will focus on different aspects of the research from this past year, including the Citizen Science moth monitoring program, the efficacy of treatments for suppressing spruce budworm hot spots, water testing in treatment areas (BTK results) (Mimic results), updates on population densities throughout the province and the roadmap for the upcoming year. Stay tuned!

Figure 1. Map of spruce budworm L2 (hibernating larvae) detected on branches during the fall of 2014.