Trees in an urban forest are highly valued because they have esthetic appeal, provide shade, and improve air quality. During the past 5 yr (2002–2006) in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, the elm spanworm, Ennomos subsignaria (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), has reached outbreak densities. Each year, hundreds of trees have been completely defoliated, and many more trees have been partially defoliated. Adding to this problem, the larvae, their silk strands, and their frass are a considerable nuisance to property owners in areas of high larval densities. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of three doses of bole-implanted acephate (AceCap 97) for reducing densities and associated defoliation of E. subsignaria on sycamore maple, Acer pseudoplatanus L. (Aceraceae). During the treatment year (2005), all three doses significantly reduced E. subsignaria larval and pupal density; full or two-thirds doses significantly reduced defoliation compared with control trees. During the posttreatment year (2006), bole-implanted acephate did not affect E. subsignaria egg mass density, survival (=adult emergence), or defoliation. Bole-implanted acephate is an effective and practical way of suppressing E. subsignaria densities and herbivory in an urban forest where the protection of high-value trees and the reduction of environmental contamination are of utmost importance.
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Vol. 101 • No. 3