May 14, 2015 6:40 PM
Maine releases parasitic flies to battle damage from winter moths
The Associated Press
AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine state scientists say they will release parasitic flies in an attempt to control damage to trees and shrubs by winter moths.
The state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry will release the flies beginning Friday on Peaks Island off of Portland. Up to 2,000 flies will be released. Entomologists say spring surveys of winter moth larvae show that Peaks Island has high enough levels of larvae to support the release of parasitic flies.
State officials say the flies will not bother humans. They say the flies were released in Nova Scotia in the 1960s and there have been no adverse effects because of them since. However, it may take years for Maine to see results.
Winter moths can also damage blueberry, apple and cranberry crops.