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MI forests pestered by return of spruce budworm

Spruce budworm moth photo
Wikimedia Commons
The spruce budworm moth is returning to Michigan forests after a 30-year absence.

It’s been about 30 years since Michigan saw an outbreak of spruce budworm, but the little insects are now back in a big way. Current State talks with Bob Heyd, forest health specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources about what that means for the state’s trees.

The spruce budworm is a pretty small moth. Its wingspan is all of two centimeters when fully grown. But despite its small stature, the insect is also a bit of a sleeping giant. Every thirty years or so, the native pest takes to the forest and wreaks havoc on spruce and balsam fir trees.

The last widespread infestation in our region stretched from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. Now, experts say we’re at beginning of the next big spruce budworm outbreak.

Current State speaks with Bob Heyd, a forest health specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in Marquette.

This segment is supported by Michigan State University's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. More news about the Great Lakes environment can be found at GreatLakesEcho.org and on Current State every Tuesday as part of our partnership.

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