Spongy Moth Outlook, Alt Fuel Corridors

For Friday, May 27, 2022


1 – Spongy moth caterpillars are hatching this month. 

The bugs, known as Gypsy moth caterpillars prior to a name change earlier this year, can destroy oaks and other trees. 

Egg masses that are light in color, falling apart or filled with tiny holes are old and will not hatch caterpillars this year. Credit: Milan Zubrick, Forest Research Institute Slovakia, Bugwood.org

Experts say this year shouldn’t be too bad when it comes to spongy moths. Based on recent aerial survey data, much of northern Lower Michigan has experienced two or three years of defoliation, which typically marks the end of an outbreak cycle. 

The last large-scale outbreak of the pests occurred from about 1992 to 1996 in Michigan. 

Suppression efforts in the 1990s have continued to keep populations largely in check. 

A fungal pathogen to kill spongy moth caterpillars also was deployed in Michigan in 1991, which helped. And a natural virus has decreased populations. 

Of course, there can still be outbreaks in some areas. You can look for healthy eggs masses on your trees that are larger than a quarter in size, tan or brownish in color and firm to the touch. 

Find out more about the spongy moth and control methods at michigan.gov/invasives.

2 – Michigan has submitted seven nominations for new Alternative Fuel Corridors

These are transportation routes where electric vehicle charging infrastructure will be installed using funds from the national Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

The corridors will be implemented by the state Department of Transportation. 

According to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the seven nominees were chosen with a focus on the support of EV adoption and the elimination of so-called range anxiety, along with Michigan’s role as part of a national and regional EV network. 

The nominations include portions of US-31 (from ~Manistee north/northeast to US-131), US-131 (from ~Petoskey north to Mackinac Bridge), US-2 (from Mackinac Bridge west to WI), US-127 (from ~Roscommon south to ~Jackson), I-275 (from I-696 south to I-75), I-696 (from I-94 in Macomb Co. west to I-275) and I-94 (from Detroit to the Blue Water Bridge).

The nominations will be reviewed by the Federal Highway Administration and are expected to be approved, according to The Detroit News

Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Public Radio 90.1 FM (listen live). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes


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