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Parks, Recreation, & Culture » Trees - Urban Forestry » Forest Health

Douglas Fir Tussock Moth

Douglas-fir tussock moth (Orgyia pseudotsugata) feeds on douglas fir, spruce and ponderosa pine. Defoliation by Douglas-fir tussock moth (DFTM) tends to be much more localized than that of Spruce Budworm and harder to locate. High hazard areas are the lower elevations of Douglas-fir near the edges of open range (such as around Kamloops).

DFTM outbreaks occur swiftly and the larvae can decimate foliage on trees to such an extent that mortality in all age classes is common. Even the first year of defoliation can cause tree mortality, as they indescriminately feed on both new and old foliage.

Additionally, some people have severe toxic and allergic reactions (Tussockosis) to DFTM larvae hairs.

Impacts of Douglas-fir Tussock Moth
The Douglas-fir tussock moth has the potential to cause significant mortality due to defoliation. In addition, top-kill, growth reduction, and secondary attacks by insects and fungi may follow severe defoliation.

Control Strategies
The best way to detect rising DFTM populations is through the use of pheromone traps, which should be placed in all the city forested areas of concern. The cardboard traps and associated pheromone lures are economical and easy to install.

Traps should be installed in the late spring and assessed in the early fall. If trap catches indicate a significant population, egg mass surveys to determine the infestation boundaries should be conducted that fall.

What is the City doing?

The City of Kamloops, in partnership with the Ministry of Forests and local forest health professionals is monitoring the tussock moth population using pheromone traps. The results collected will determine the direction to take.

What can you do?

  • Monitor your trees
  • Review the information provided in this section
  • If you suspect forest health issues with your trees contact a certified arborist or forest health professional for further investigation

  • For More Information:

    Parks Operations
    955 Concordia Way
    Phone 250 828 3551

    Note: All correspondence is entered into our system and will be directed accordingly. The City of Kamloops will endeavor to contact you within two business days. Thank you.