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Table of Contents
The Slow The Spread of the Gypsy Moth Project 1
Your principal job responsibilities 2
Delta trap information and instructions 2
Milk carton trap information and instructions 4
Identifying gypsy moth life stages 6
Setting Traps 7
Day in the life of a trapper 8
General Instructions 9
Contacting the property owner 9
Trap Placement 10
Where NOT to set traps and Labeling traps in the field 11
Numbering traps during trap set 12
Filling out your survey notebook 13
Checking Traps 15
Day in the life of a trapper – trap check 16
General instructions 17
Look alikes 18
Numbering traps during trap check and removal 19
Replacing traps 20
Removing traps 21
Landowner refusal 21
What the GPS Tells Us 25
Getting Inside the Target Circle 27
Using A Compass – The Basics 28
Problem solving 30
Error Correction 30
How serious a pest is the gypsy moth?
The GYPSY MOTH (Lymantria dispar L.) is one of the most destructive insect pests of trees and shrubs in eastern North America, where it has defoliated millions of acres. It is native to Europe and Asia and was brought to the United States in 1869. Gypsy moth caterpillars feed on tree and shrub leaves in the spring when plants need this new foliage for their own growth. This stress can leave the tree weakened and more susceptible to disease, attack by other insects, and environmental stresses such as drought.
The gypsy moth is named for its habit of "hitch-hiking" on plant material and outdoor household items such as cars, boats and mobile homes, and travelers may unknowingly bring the pest to new areas. Female moths will attach egg masses to nearly any stationary object. Egg masses may then be carried to new locations where they may start new and devastating infestations if not detected early and eradicated.
The Slow the Spread of the Gypsy Moth Project
The Slow the Spread (STS) Project is a large integrated pest management (IPM) project directed at the gypsy moth. The project, under the aegis of the US Forest Service, involves several administrative agencies at both state and federal levels. Participating states include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
While traditional approaches to gypsy moth management address potentially defoliating populations occurring in generally infested areas, the STS project focuses on populations in the area between that of general infestation and generally uninfested. In this transition zone, populations are low and somewhat discontinuous. Male moths are the primary population indicators, and other life stages are rarely found. The project attempts to meet its goals by conducting intensive monitoring with pheromone-baited traps in order to detect isolated or low-level populations in the transition zone. Although all available tactics to control gypsy moth populations will be considered, emphasis is placed upon the most environmentally benign tactic which meets management objectives.
The STS Project is composed of two types of management areas: the Action Area, where STS management strategies are applied, and the Evaluation Area, where normal state and federal management strategies are maintained. Data from the Evaluation Area, along with data from surrounding state gypsy moth surveys, will be used to assess the efficacy of STS management strategies in the Action Area. Intensive monitoring within the Action Area is the foundation of the project and provides the trap catch data used in a decision-making algorithm to determine the appropriate management activities.
For more information on the STS Program visit: www.gmsts.org
Your principal job responsibilities
1. Efficiently install traps according to the grid plotted on your maps, taking accurate GPS readings and keeping careful records of trap locations and visits. Pace yourself! Set daily trap goals (approximately 30-35 traps per day for driving routes and 13-18 traps per day for hike-in routes) and follow a planned route.
2. Monitor traps and document trap observations. Forward suspect moths to your lead worker as requested.
3. Account for all equipment issued and all traps (in numerical order) and lures at the season's conclusion.
4. Follow all state policies and procedures as described in training and in this manual.
5. Remember at all times to be respectful and courteous. You are representing the agency you work for and the STS project as a whole while you are placing and inspecting traps. Dress and behave appropriately.
Delta Trap information and assembly instructions
Description: The trap is designed to attract and retain the adult male gypsy moth (the female cannot fly and is not attracted to the trap). It is made of a weather-proof, polycoated paperboard that has two of its inside surfaces precoated with an adhesive that will entrap the male moth.
Step-by-step instructions for assembling the gypsy moth trap:
Punch out drainage holes while trap is still folded.
Staple the lure to the non-sticky side of the trap so that it hangs free. Figure 2
Pull open trap-pull sticky sides away from each other. Figure 2
Fold trap into a triangle. Fold top flap over and staple both ends near the outside of the trap so that the staple is horizontal and near the base of the trap Figure 3
Fold corners in at both ends. Figure 4
Fold in sides at both ends. It is best to fold all three flaps simultaneously. If ends are not folded properly, moth entry may be restricted. Figure 5
Staple or tie trap to tree at chest height; approximately 4-5 feet from the ground. On young or thin-barked trees, use string and tie trap to tree. Figure 6
Do not assemble the traps more than two days in advance. The lures are very sensitive to summer temperatures and must be stored in a freezer until ready for use. Once they are taken from the freezer, they are effective for approximately 12 weeks at 85-degrees. It is important to keep the lures and baited traps in a cool place.
Handle the string lure as little as possible and wash your hands after assembling traps.
Milk Carton information and assembly instructions
Description: The trap is designed to attract, kill, and retain the adult male gypsy moth (the female cannot fly and is not attracted to the trap). Milk carton traps are larger and can hold many more moths than a delta trap. There is no adhesive within the trap. Milk carton traps contain both a lure to attract the male moths and a pesticide strip (DDVP) to kill them once inside. Milk carton traps will take additional time to assemble.
Step-by-step instructions for assembling the gypsy moth milk carton trap:
Unfold trap, bend at creases and punch out drainage holes and entrance windows. Figure 1
Staple bottom flaps to secure the trap bottom. Figure 2
Slide hood (shiny side upward) over the body and slide tabs on hood into the perforation on the trap body. Using a stapler attach the hood tabs to the body. Figure 3
Prepare the string lure and DDVP strip for installation. DDVP strips should be assembled and installed at the trap site location. Vinyl gloves should be utilized when handling both the DDVP strip and string lure due to the health hazard associated with these [refer to Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) ] Figure 4
The DDVP strip and string lure are stapled to a 7” twist tie. Place a 1” fold at one end of the twist tie. Staple the DDVP to the opposite end taking care to leave the protective packaging around the DDVP strip until trap deployment. Figure 5
Attach string lure perpendicular to the twist tie 2 ½ “ above the DDVP strip with staple pliers. Figure 6
Insert twist tie into the trap body with the one inch fold facing up. Place the top of the twist tie just behind where the pour spout will open and staple. To close the trap, staple the top of the trap opposite of the pour spout. Use a paper clip or small twist tie to secure the spout. Figure 7
Trap should be hung with 18” floral wire to a suitable host type at eye level. Figure 8
To service the trap, just open the pour spout, empty trap contents, and close the spout.
It is recommended to not assemble the traps until you are in the field. The lures and DDVP strip are very sensitive to summer temperatures. Heat inside a car will activate chemical release in the DDVP strip which is a health hazard. Both the string lure and DDVP strip should be transported in a cooler while in a vehicle. It is important to keep the lures and DDVP in a cool dry place at all times.
Handle both the DDVP strips and the pheromone lure as little as possible and wash your hands after assembling.
Milk Carton Trap Assembly:
Figure 1 Figure 2
Figure 3 Figure 4
Figure 5 Figure 6
Use twist tie or paper clip here
Cut away image to show inside of trap Figure 8
A Day In the life of a Trapper – Trap Set
Plan route, stay organized, make sure you have enough traps constructed for the day’s trapping.
Drive to target circle and find good spot. Approach house with trapping materials including brochure and door hanger. Ask permission to place traps on private property. If no one is home, leave message on door hanger.
Write the trap name on trap and staple to tree. Flip trap to make sure it is secure.
Record GPS data and fill out survey notebook.
Look at map, navigate to next trap.
Construct enough traps for the next day of trapping.
You will be using the set of maps supplied to you. Before starting out each day, determine your route, penciling directions on your map if this helps. The order of trap set is left to the trapper. By setting easier traps first, you may discover roads or paths not on the maps which allow access into an area which may have at first appeared difficult to get to. Or you may choose to tackle some heavy duty hiking traps early and save easier road access traps for a rainy day. Whether driving or hiking, always have a supply of twice your daily recommended traps ready at all times.
The circles covering the maps are target set areas. Traps must be placed within these target circles, but there is no need to try to get the trap in the center of the circle. Everything within the target circle is a potentially valid trap location. As long as you are setting traps within the target circles, you are ensuring proper spacing of the traps which provides the best data possible. On rare occasions, it just isn’t possible to get into a target circle, but if you can get close, it is preferable to setting no trap at all. If you cannot set the trap within the target circle, set the trap as close to the circle as possible. Never set two traps closer to each other than the distance between two target circles (the intertrap distance). Maintaining a good grid with properly spaced traps, even in areas where access and terrain along with time constraints dictate a less than perfect grid, will result in better data and help us locate gypsy moth populations. If there is absolutely no site available or no way to access a target circle, you may enter an omit trap code and move on. If your agency requires it, contact your supervisor for omit approval.
Mark the location of the traps you set on the field maps.
Record the trap information in your survey notebook. Enter the appropriate data including trap name, GPS coordinates, date, a quick sketch of the area and any additional notes. The survey notebook should always reflect correct and accurate trap location information. Accurate trap information on maps and survey notebooks will be a great asset in helping you locate the trap on return visits but even more importantly it allows someone else to find the trap.
Remember: Hang the trap first and then do the paper work!!
Contacting the property owner
If placing a trap on private property, always try to obtain permission to place a trap in a homeowner's yard. NEVER knock on a homeowner’s door before 7:00 a.m.
Briefly explain your purpose, show the trap and offer the homeowner a gypsy moth brochure.
If the resident refuses, thank them for their time and move on to the next house.
Ask resident not to move the trap to a new location.
NEVER step into a home, even if invited, this is for your safety.
If no one is home, and the location is acceptable, leave a door hanger notice. Make sure you fill out the trap location and 9-digit trap name on the door hanger. Place door hanger inside screen or storm door if possible. Note: IT IS ILLEGAL TO LEAVE NOTICE IN A MAILBOX!
1. Look at the field map and try to determine a likely spot within the target circle to navigate toward. Easy access and a good route to your next trap are good to keep in mind.
2. Once in the target circle it is time to choose a specific trap location. If you speak to the homeowner they may suggest the best place to locate the trap (away from play areas, etc).
Urban trapping: Traps tend to draw attention, so avoid heavily trafficked areas such as boulevard trees, front yards or the middle of a park. When located in conspicuous places there is a greater risk of vandalism or destruction. In densely urban areas the backyard is often the most protected and least trafficked place for the trap. Suburban trapping however can be the opposite. Any inconspicuous location can work, often times a tree near the road or front yard works best.
Rural trapping: More wooded areas means more desirable places to hang a trap. When placing a trap at a home, trees near the road offer easy access and are easy to spot while remaining unobtrusive for the homeowner.
3. Additional considerations:
Air circulation: Traps are baited with a sex pheromone that is dispersed by the wind. Make certain there is adequate air circulation and avoid hanging trap in dense foliage. This also assures a clear flight path to the trap for the male moths.
Sunlight: Avoid placing the trap where it will be exposed to direct sunlight for a prolonged period of time. Sunlight will break down the laminated exterior of the trap and may decrease the effective life of the pheromone strip. Think open shade or north sides of trees.
Wooded situations: Place the trap on the edge or corner of the woodlot rather than deep in the interior. Gypsy moths tend to favor edges and corners. If there are no good landmarks nearby, use vinyl flagging ribbon to mark the area.
Hanging height: Place the trap on a tree at chest height (4-5 feet off the ground) and on the north side of the tree. This is optimal trapping height and allows for easier inspection during trap checks. Once you’ve stapled the trap, flip it up once or twice to make sure it is firmly attached.
Where NOT to set traps
Traps placed at the following sites are often missing or damaged before the trapping season is over:
On school property or along paths where children walk to school
Places where children play
In parks or picnic areas at sites where people can see the trap (place trap out of sight)
On properties with vicious dogs or “Beware of Dog” signs
On properties with "For Sale" signs or construction underway
At sites behind gates; the gate may be locked next time
Where animals such as cattle or horses can disturb the trap
On extremely dusty roads
In the middle of dense foliage
On tress that will be covered in poison ivy/oak, honeysuckle, etc.
At sites where road construction is scheduled or in progress
On branches of trees and shrubs overhanging roads
On trees in parking lots
On side of host tree facing public sidewalks or streets
On trees marked for cutting or removal
On newly planted or young trees
On birch as the bark can be damaged from staples, use string if no other site available
Near a sprinkler
Double-check to be sure the trap contains a pheromone strip.
NOTE: Please let your supervisor know and make a note of any angry landowners (name/address) refusing a trap so that we may avoid them in the future!
Labeling traps in the field
Be sure to record the trap name on the trap exactly as it is printed on your map and survey notebook. For identification in the field, you will need to use the 9-digit trap name. In quad based states, the first five digits are the quad abbreviation (Stpsw), the next four the site number (0178). In county based states the first 3 digits are the county FIPS code, the next two are block-id and the last four are the site number.
Example for trap labeling: STPSW0178 (quads) 013/00/1002 (county)
Traps should be marked using a black wax/grease pencil or permanent marker. Use the trap name from the corresponding trap location on your map. DO NOT number traps ahead of time.
Once the trap is set:
Take a GPS point and enter the trap code
Immediately complete the paperwork for the trap including a brief site sketch
As accurately as possible mark the quad map at the trap location
Plan route to next trap