Risk assessment and population monitoring efforts are at the core of Maine’s strategic response plan, and the Maine Forest Service has substantially increased monitoring since 2014 in collaboration with the Maine Cooperative Forestry Research Unit (CFRU) to deploy >400 pheromone traps across northern, western, and Downeast Maine. The relative ease, low cost, and high sensitivity of pheromone trapping makes it a preferred method of assessing population change.
Cooperators place traps at approximately one location per township following standardized protocol used by Canadians and Americans since 1986. Traps are deployed during the first three weeks of June and retrieved after the budworm flight period and returned to the Maine Forest Service for processing.
The CFRU also supports an L2 sample program in conjunctions with the Canadian Forest Service as part of the Healthy Forest Partnership. Since 2014, branch samples from potential host trees have been collected at a subset of trap locations. Branches are then sent to the Canadian Forest Service land in Fredricton for processing.