The Spruce Budworm

And how they affect spruce forests

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The Spruce Budworm's Rampage

The spruce budworm is a pest that has damaged and killed millions of spruce and balsam fir trees in the forests of the United States and Canada. The first recorded incident of budworms in the United States was in Maine, around 1807. Many of the US states' spruce forests have been destroyed by budworms, New England being the most affected. Spruce budworms target younger trees, being less mature and more venerable.
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Spruce Budworm Larva
Their damage began very early, when the budworm larvae would hide amongst the spruce leaves, killing and harming the buds. The budworm eats the needles at the base of the tree and are kept in a silk web. After the tree has been eaten away by budworms, it has a thin, ruined look. Although budworms are difficult to exterminate, there are certain pesticides that help kill some.
Trees damaged by the Spruce Budworm

Killing the Budworms

While it may seem as though budworms are undefeatable, they can be killed by predators, pesticides, and weather. Spinosad Spray and Monterey Bt are sprays that can be used to kill the budworms without without harming you. Spiders and birds eat spruce budworms, as well as other insects. Certain weather conditions, such as freezing temperatures kill the budworm's larvae.
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Spruce Budworm eggs hiding on a spruce needle.