In the west, its normal preferred diet is eastern hemlock and in the east, balsam fir. Looper moth outbreaks are normal and occur about every 10 years. Coastal hemlock seems much more resilient. NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A spike in the population of a native moth species is bugging plenty of North Vancouver residents. The outbreak of moths is not a new issue to North America. The hemlock looper is an insect native to North America, occurring from the Atlantic coast west to Alberta and Iowa. An outbreak of western hemlock looper moths is occurring throughout North Vancouver, which can result in damage to trees and forested areas. Damage . The current outbreak of Western hemlock looper moths began two years ago. Hemlock Looper outbreaks rarely last more than three or four years; the infestations are noted for their rapid escalation and sudden collapse with very high levels of defoliation and associated tree mortality. hemlock looper, and the collapse of an outbreak of this pest. Western Hemlock Looper Biology & History The western hemlock looper is periodically destructive in coastal and interior forests, reaching outbreak proportions every 11 and 20-plus years, respectively. What’s unusual, however, is the targeted tree. While there are no practical measures that may control the outbreak, it typically runs its course within three years. Swaths of trees in the North Shore Mountains and Metro Vancouver watersheds are turning orange following an outbreak of a voracious insect. The outbreak of western hemlock looper moths is now in its second year, but a UBC expert says the population has surged and he’s never seen it this bad before. The Western Hemlock Looper isn't an invasive species, won't eat your sweaters. Back to menu Western Hemlock Looper Management . North Shore hit with another outbreak of western hemlock looper moths. During periodic outbreaks it will feed on other conifers, hardwoods, and will even resort to cannibalism when the food supply is scarce. The outbreak is significantly bigger than last fall, and has caused damage to trees near Metro Vancouver's watersheds. 6.9 . The western hemlock looper is a native species part of the natural coastal forest ecosystem that feeds on trees, particularly in the Fromme and Lynn Valley area where the community borders the forest. Outbreaks usually last about three years, after which they are generally brought under control by the action of parasites, predators, and diseases. The District of North Vancouver (DNV) says that it’s an outbreak of Western Hemlock Looper Moths, a native species that’s “part of the natural coastal forest system.” The district addressed the issue in late August, saying that they had received inquiries from the community about the potential impact they could have on the region. According to Natural Resources Canada, between 1910 and 1975 hemlock looper moths have “caused timber losses estimated at 12 million cubic meters in Newfoundland and 24 million cubic meters in Quebec.” Western hemlock in the interior is intolerant to defoliation so mortality can occur following only one year of heavy defoliation and may continue for up to four years after the collapse of a western hemlock looper infestation. SOPFIM (Société de protection des forêts contre les insectes et les maladies) therefore set up a Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) Outbreaks occur every 11 to 15 years when environmental factors cause their populations to spike. The Western hemlock looper moth, a … In the fall of 1996, a survey of hem-lock looper populations indicated that a severe outbreak could be expected in the Gaspé Peninsula the following season. The outbreak doesn't require intervention, the species isn't invasive and these outbreaks typically last three years. 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