Swarms

Welcome to Colleen’s Corner. This is a column meant for fun and some information About myself: I am Colleen Fielding, a Freelance Photographer you often see me on the side of the road  or in various places taking photos of different things animals, birds, places, people etc.  l have lived in Lumby just over 8 years,you have seen my photos in the newspaper (Lumby Valley Times) and once in awhile in the Vernon Morning Star, and the Lumby Art Gallery. Photography is my passion. Disclaimer:  The information on some of my photos that I write about a lot of times come from the Internet or books I research them, hopefully the facts are as close to the truth as I can come.

You have seen these little guys on the news recently. They are everywhere. Coming in swarms every once in about 10 years. There has been an outbreak of these Hemlock Looper Moths that can last 3-4 years. 

They might be small, but these moths can cause a lot of damage to trees, eating away not only the old but the new growth on the trees as well.

These moths do not eat your clothing or bite.

They will happily munch away at Red Cedar, Western Hemlock, Spruce, and Douglas Fir Trees. They can be found here and as far south as in Georgia in the USA.

Not being strong flyers, they will not travel far to find their mate. After mating the female will lay small green eggs in branches, or on bark, and even sometimes on the forest floor where they tend to stay in the winter. The eggs hatch between mid-May and early June. Larvae are here from late July to early September. As Adults they are here in flight from September to October. 

This very destructive moth has had major outbreaks in BC for many years. Hitting a variety of places. Vancouver Island a major outbreak happened in 1945- 1946. The Upper Fraser River saw this huge outbreak in 1954- 1955 and again 1991-1992. They hit the North Thompson – Wells Gray Park in 1976, then again in 1991 -1992. The Arrow Lakes were attacked by this moth in 1972- 1973. Shuswap Lake saw these moths in 1983-1984. Horsefly and Quesnel Lake saw the outbreak in 1946, 1984, and 1991 to 1992. Revelstoke has seen the outbreak many times 1945- 1947, 1972 – 1973, 1982 -1983 and again in 1991- 1993.

Vancouver and areas got hit really hard this year September 2020 we are also seeing a rash of them here as well. This trend is supposed to happen again next year, but apparently there will be even more of them.

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