The Forest Sustainability Program is millage funded and provides for the identification, suppression, public education, and monitoring of the Spongy Moth and other non-native invasive species that cause economic damage and reduce the quality of life in Bay County.
The successful treatment to protect publicly owned Ash Trees took place in June of 2022. For more information about the treatment, or upcoming future treatments, please check this LINK.
Aerial Treatment to control Spongy Moth in Bay County will be taking place between May 22nd and May 31th, 2023. For more information about the treatment, please check this LINK
What is a Spongy Moth?
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Introduced into the United States from Europe in 1869,the Spongy Moth, formerly known as the Gypsy Moth, is an invasive non-native insect with larvae that feed on many North American trees and plants. Spongy Moth caterpillars prefer oaks and aspen, but are known to feast on more than 300 species of tree and shrubs. The caterpillars have insatiable appetites and can defoliate trees causing them to be vulnerable to diseases and other pests which can eventually kill the tree. Since their introduction into the United States, the Spongy Moth has spread throughout the eastern seaboard, south into Georgia and west into Wisconsin and Missouri. The Forest Sustainability Staff work to monitor and treat for this damaging invasive pest in order to protect our valuable trees throughout Bay County.
Fall and Winter Spongy Moth Egg Mass Monitoring (September to January)
The Forest Sustainability Program performed their egg mass monitoring from September 2022 to January of 2023. This monitoring helps determine the areas that will require spring treatment in 2023. Spongy Moth monitoring done throughout this past spring and summer have shown that there are a few areas in Bay County where Spongy Moth populations are still on the rise. Check out our detailed 2023 Treatment Map which shows areas where higher numbers of Spongy Moth egg masses were found during the last fall monitoring. Areas with more than 300 egg masses per acre were scheduled for treatment in spring of 2023 where allowed.