Canadian Forest Service Publications
Pest management of Douglas-fir tussock moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae): Prevention of an outbreak through early treatment with a nuclear polyhedrosis virus by ground and aerial applications. 1984. Shepherd, R.F.; Otvos, I.S.; Chorney, R.J.; Cunningham, J.C. The Canadian Entomologist 116(11): 1533-1542.
Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 2378
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Two different application methods were tested using a nuclear polyhedrosis virus as a control agent at an early stage in the outbreak cycle of Douglas-fir tussock moth, Orgyia pseudotsugata (McDunnough), in south central British Columbia in 1981. The virus, which often leads to the development of an epizootic late in the outbreak cycle, was propagated in whitemarked tussock moth, Orgyia leucostigma (J. E. Smith). A helicopter fitted with a boom and nozzle was used for treating four plots (total area 19.8 ha) at a dosage of 2.2 x 1011 polyhedral inclusion bodies (PIB) in an emitted volume of 11.3 L ha-1. Five to eight weeks after spraying, microscopic examination of live larvae showed that 77 to 100% were infected. In ground-spray applications of two other plots, a modified orchard-type sprayer was used to apply 2.4 x 1010 PIB in a volume of 4.5 L per tree. Microscopic diagnosis of live larvae at 8 weeks post-spray revealed 83 and 85% infection.
In autumn 1981, no egg masses could be found in the plots treated earlier that year and no larvae were found on the sample trees in 1982 or 1983. The treatment was effective over a range of initial mean larval densities of 41 to 206 m-2 of foliage. At the same time, populations in nearby untreated areas increased in 1982. Little foliage protection was obtained the year of application due to the lengthy virus incubation period, but the trees recovered quickly when populations disappeared due to the virus epizootic.