Due to the enthusiasm and productivity of our procurement agent, northeastern Minnesota again finds itself over-stocked with spruce budworm caterpillars. A HUGE truckload sale of budworms will be held between now and sometime in early July. As of May 12th, they were to 3/16 of an inch long in Itasca County. Budworms can be picked up in most balsam fir or white spruce stands in northern St. Louis, Lake or Itasca Counties, as well as, in Koochiching County.
Depending on the success of this truckload sale, we may find it possible to hold sales of pupae and little brown moths later in July.
On a more serious note, the spruce budworms in northeastern Morrison County had grown to ¼ inch by May 8th, and over 50% of the bud caps had fallen off. To control feeding damage, the biological pesticide, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), can be applied to these young caterpillars from the air or the ground.