May 20, 2019
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Maine to release moth-eating flies to control invasive pest

Courtesy of Maine Forest Service
Courtesy of Maine Forest Service
An adult male winter moth is easily distinguished from a female winter moth because females have stunted wings that render them flightless. The winter moth was first discovered in Maine in substantial numbers in December 2011 and poses a threat to a number of plants, including maple, oak and apple trees.

Forestry officials say they will release parasitic flies in South Portland to try to help control an invasive species of moth.

The Maine Forest Service says the flies will be released as part of an effort to get rid of winter moths. The flies are in cocoons and will be set out in a cage buried in the ground until the spring. It’s scheduled to be set out at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The flies will start to emerge in early May, and the cage will then be opened. The flies are not attracted to humans or human homes.

The forest service says flies have been released in five other locations in coastal Maine since 2013. They also have been released in Massachusetts.

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