Recent Alerts

10-26-2016 07:51:40

ODA - Traps come up empty for Asian gypsy moth in Oregon

This information is from the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Robin

Traps come up empty for Asian gypsy moth in Oregon
All looks good following large gypsy moth eradication project in Portland this spring

October 26, 2016… After checking approximately 19,000 traps statewide, and about 3,000 specifically in the north Portland area, the Oregon Department of Agriculture is happy to report no detections of Asian gypsy moth following an 8,800 acre eradication project this spring. The good results indicate there will be no need for ODA to come back next year with additional treatment for the invasive, plant-eating pest.

“In Forest Park and the north Portland area where gypsy moths were trapped in 2015, all our traps came up empty, “ says Clint Burfitt, manager of ODA’s Insect Pest Prevention and Management Program. “We will do two more years of high density trapping in the area before we can officially declare gypsy moth eradicated, but right now, it looks like our treatments were successful.”

Last year, ODA found 14 gypsy moths statewide, five in the greater Portland area. Two of the moths were trapped in or near Portland’s Forest Park, another two in the St. Johns area and the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6. The most significant was the detection of Asian gypsy moth– one in Forest Park, the other near St. Johns. Additionally, an Asian gypsy moth was trapped across the Columbia River near the Port of Vancouver in Washington.

Trapping results appear to show that three aerial applications of the biological insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk) not only eradicated an existing population of gypsy moths in the area, but that there are no new introductions of the exotic insect this year.

“It looks like the pest pressure from Asia has decreased and inspections by US Customs and Border Protection and USDA-APHIS (Animal Plant Health Inspection Service) of vessels coming into from infested areas of Asia have been effective,” says Burfitt.

Oregon is more familiar with the European gypsy moth, which is usually introduced when new residents or travelers from areas of high gypsy moth populations in the eastern US unwittingly bring the pest with them on outdoor household furniture or other items that may harbor gypsy moth eggs. Asian gypsy moth is potentially a much more dangerous insect. Unlike its European cousin, the female Asian gypsy moth has the ability to fly, which can lead to a more rapid infestation and subsequent spread. The Asian gypsy moth also has a larger appetite for what grows in Oregon, including a taste for conifers.

There have been just three Asian gypsy moths detected in Oregon prior to last year– a single catch in North Portland in 1991, one caught in Portland’s Forest Park in 2000, and one caught in St. Helens in 2006. It’s notable that two of the three Asian gypsy moths trapped in Oregon were relatively in the same locations as the 2015 detections. It’s not surprising since infested cargo from Asia runs the risk of coming into Portland via ship along the Columbia River.

“We receive shipments into our ports from Russia, Korea, China, and Japan,” says Burfitt. “Those Asian ports are well lit and near forested areas. The Asian gypsy moths are attracted to the lights. Female moths fly onto the ships, then lay their eggs on containers and commodities. Based on the high population of moths at these Asian ports and the egg masses that have been recovered from the ships the past couple of years, there has been a heightened alert nationally to be on the lookout for Asian gypsy moth.”

Reports that Asian gypsy moth populations in the Pacific Rim are down is welcome news to Oregon and Washington– two states that conducted large eradication projects this past spring. Oregon’s neighbor to the north caught 10 Asian gypsy moths last year.

This year’s scorecard is not perfect, but close to it. There were six European gypsy moths trapped in Oregon over the summer– 4 in the Grants Pass area and 2 east of Springfield in Lane County. Neither locations are being considered for an eradication project next spring, even though gypsy moth detections in Grants Pass have taken place for the past couple of years.

“Despite increasing the number of traps in that area, we are catching fewer moths each year and it looks like the population of moths in Grants Pass is not succeeding long term, based on some environmental limitations for the pest,” says Burfitt. “It might be that the area is not as good a habitat for gypsy moth as other places in Oregon.”

Next spring, additional high density trapping will take place in areas where gypsy moth was detected this year, along with the heavy trapping in north Portland.

“Residents in the areas we treated this spring will see an increased number of traps in those areas once again,” says Burfitt. “They can be helpful by allowing our traps to be placed on their properties in 2017.”

Since new introductions of gypsy moth– both Asian and European varieties– can occur any year, Oregon is probably never going to be out of the woods when it comes to the threat of the invader. That’s why it’s so important to put up the traps. Early detection allows for a rapid response in the form of treatment to eradicate gypsy moth populations.

“Had Forest Park, north Portland, and the port area not been treated this spring, it would have been a different story,” says Burfitt. “I would expect there would have been an increased number of Asian gypsy moth detections and it would have made it far more difficult to achieve eradication of this invasive species.”

All the outreach efforts prior to spraying in the Portland area this spring were well worth it, says Burfitt.

“The amount of cooperation between the different agencies and various community groups within the treatment zone was unprecedented. It just shows that when we have a difficult issue and something that will negatively impact the community, like Asian gypsy moth, everyone can come together and be part of the solution.”

With no plans for gypsy moth eradication in 2017, Oregon can return to a quieter spring.

For more information, contact Clint Burfitt at (503) 986-4663.


ODA gypsy moth

10-24-2016 08:25:07

Weather update

Need a shower? Lots of those on the way based on the weather prediction from Rufus at the WxCafé ®. Robin

Sunday October 23


What a decent weekend it turned out to be.  Love it when wrong if it means pleasant, get-things-done-outside conditions fall on a weekend!  Temps will be in the 80s in The Big Easy this week, as will your host.   The PNW will get more rain, with a few hours of intermission thrown in to prevent the crazies from over taking patrons.  Mug up & check it out.


Low pressure off the coast will spin a wave or two of rain across the region, but not super wet.  Mild temps.  Another low west of CA will wet down the Golden State and then shift its impact over the PNW by early Wed, so moderate rain & breezy conditions should be expected mid-week.  Some model solutions point to a relatively dry Thursday thru Saturday; other charts show a second push of moisture over the PNW from the SW, although not as wet a system as Wednesday's.  Temps will be mild, either way, with chance for showers being The WxCafe call for Fri.  Sunday could be WET.  Halloween is modeled to start damp, then dry down by the time the porch lights come on for the spooks.


Early on, we had hoped for a 3-5 day run of dry weather early in November.  Well, that has been broomed away and replaced with very wet, STORMY conditions starting sometime Tue Nov 1 and lasting on into Nov 7 or so.  The upper level 'jet' stream winds will be strong and race surface systems direct across the Pacific right into the PNW.  This series of wet and windy systems will usher in multiple inches of rain and potentially windy (esp coast & Vancouver Is.).  If we do get the dry Thu-Sat break the end of this week, take advantage, because early November may turn unforgiving for a week.


Back in Oregon on Friday.





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Weather update

10-21-2016 14:50:42

OktoberPest - Attracting Friends

Want some schooling on the best way to attract and keep beneficials? Come to the OktoberPest - Attracting Friends workshop next Thursday, October 27, from 9 am until noon at NWREC to learn more about conservation biological control. Gwendolyn Ellen from the Integrated Plant Protection Center will be joining me to share information about how to attract and conserve natural enemies in nursery production systems. Don't miss the hands'on demonstrations about banker plants and beetle banks. For more information, check the link. Robin 


OktoberPest - Attracting Friends

10-21-2016 14:22:08

Corrected link for Pesticide Round-up in Clackamas

I'm resending the link for the Pesticide Roundup for Clackamas County. Sorry for the error. Robin

Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District

10-21-2016 13:33:51

Yet Another Agriculture & Commercial Pesticide and Empty Container Collection Event!

I've heard about another FREE ag pesticide and empty container collection event from Patrick Peterson with Marion Ag Service, Inc. This collection event is for agricultural and other commercial waste pesticides in Yamhill County, Polk County, and surrounding areasYou must pre-register by 11/5 for the pesticide disposal service. No pre-registration is needed for dropping off empty, triple-rinsed pesticide containers but please see the link below for more details on the recycling procedure. 

Nice way to drop a few pounds before the holidays.     Robin

Yamhill, Polk Pesticide Round-up

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