The Thumb Land Conservancy chose not to spray its land for moth moths, but there were very few invasive species on its property this year. All the credit seems to go to the birds for keeping the gypsy moth population under control this year.
The nature conservation group was concerned about the effects the naturally occurring bacterium BTK, used to kill gypsy moth caterpillars, might have on other native moth and butterfly caterpillars, so they chose not to. part of the countywide spraying initiative.
There were very few moth moth caterpillars on the Thumb Land Conservancy property in Fort Gratiot, probably because they were all eaten by birds.
The bulletin stated that a single pair of black-capped chickadees could feed on several thousand caterpillars to raise a single brood of young.
In its latest newsletter, the Conservancy pointed out that having a healthy native bird population is a very effective way to control gypsy moths.
The Thumb Land Conservancy provides a wealth of information on maintaining healthy habitats in Michigan’s Thumb Region. Contact details are available at WGRT.com.
Reporting for WGRT – Jennie McClelland