Why is this research important?

Spruce budworm management has always focussed on foliage protection during outbreaks. The objective is to keep trees alive until the outbreak runs its course and insect populations decline due to natural parasitoids and predators. Research by Dr. Jacques Régnière (Canadian Forest Service) and others indicate that at very low population levels, mating success of budworm moths is low because male moths have difficulty finding females. There may be an opportunity to intervene in low but rising populations using insecticides to drive the population down below outbreak levels. We have a very limited time window to try this, since populations are rapidly increasing.

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