The spring and summer are busy months for the Forest Pest Management Team of ERD. From the day that seasonal staff arrives in June they get to work setting SBW pheromone traps throughout the province. These traps are used as early warning signs of population growth and you can read more about them in one of our previous blog posts. After the pheromone traps are hung, our staff switches focus to two vital components of the EIS program, monitoring insect and tree development to optimize treatment timing; and then conducting efficacy sampling to assess the impact of the treatments. Once these two surveys are completed in early July, the crews spend the majority of July conducting road-side defoliation surveys. These surveys are used to detect small pockets of defoliation that are not visible during the aerial survey that happens in late June. These data are compiled to both assess the success of the treatment season and to help inform the Forest Pest Management Section on areas where additional monitoring efforts may need to occur during the L2 survey. The L2 survey begins in mid-August, staff from the Forest Pest Management Team, ERD regional officers, and industry partners will collect branch samples from ~ 1900 locations province-wide to assess population levels. These data will be the foundation for the 2018 EIS treatment priority layer that will take shape in November at the conclusion of the L2 sampling program.