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UMass Extension’s Invasive Insect Webinar Series 2021

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Event date/time: 
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 10:00am
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - 10:00am
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - 10:00am
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 10:00am
Event Type: 

Spotted lanterfly adult. (Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, 10:00 AM – 12:10 PM:  Join UMass Extension’s Landscape, Nursery, and Urban Forestry Program and UMass Extension’s Fruit Program for an exciting FREE series of webinars focusing on the impact, monitoring, and management of invasive insects in Massachusetts and the nation! Topics to include invasive forest pests in MA, spotted lanternfly, the biological control of winter moth, Asian longhorned beetle updates, planned detection surveys in Massachusetts and New England, integrated pest management of spotted-wing drosophila and brown marmorated stink bug and more! There will also be an update about non-native earthworms, close relatives of the insects, which have attracted a lot of attention in recent years. Please note: while participants from anywhere are invited to attend, much of the material presented will be specific to Massachusetts and New England.

For recordings of previous webinars in this series, go to the archives at


Pesticide contact hours

For each day, 2 pesticide contact hours have been requested for categories 25, 27, 29, 35, 36, 48 and Applicators (core) license. 
Additionally, 1 pesticide contact hour for category 37 has been requested for Jan 19.
Pesticide contact hours are available only for the live webinars, not for the recordings. 

Association Credits

There are 2 ISA, 2 (category 1) SAF CEUs, and 1 MCH credits for each day. ISA and MCH credits are available for the live webinars only.
MCA/MCLPs earn 1 Education Credit for each day, both the live and recorded versions. Submit your request for CEUs using these links:




10:00 - 11:00 AM: Invasive Earthworms in Massachusetts - Biology, Impacts, and Research Updates
Dr. Olga Kostromytska, Extension Assistant Professor and Turf Entomologist, UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture 
Technically, earthworms are not insects. However, these organisms have garnered a lot of interest from the public in recent years. Dr. Kostromytska will discuss the identification and biology of invasive earthworms of interest in Massachusetts. This will include information about "crazy/jumping worm" species (Amynthas spp.) that have many homeowners in MA and New England concerned. She will also share updates about current research in her lab.

11:10 AM – 12:10 PM: 2021 Forest Health Updates for Massachusetts
Nicole Keleher, Forest Health Program Director, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation
Nicole Keleher, DCR Forest Health Director, will discuss what impact to expect from our forest pests and diseases in 2021. She will talk about our common insects, new invaders to be on the lookout for, and the impact the drought will have on our trees.

View the recorded webinar of both of these topics at


10:00 – 11:00 AM: Spotted lanternfly in Massachusetts and the US
Joshua Bruckner, Forest Pest Outreach Coordinator, MA Department of Agricultural Resources
Spotted lanternfly is a highly destructive insect that has appeared in several states on the east coast. Learn about this pest’s lifecycle and biology, what aspects of Massachusetts life it threatens, and what’s being done to control and stop its spread.

11:10 AM – 12:10 PM: Successful Biological Control of Winter Moth in Eastern New England
Dr. Joseph Elkinton, Professor of Entomology, Dept. of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts
The winter moth, Operophtera brumata, an inchworm caterpillar that is native to Europe, became a devastating invasive defoliator of many species of forest and shade trees in eastern New England beginning in the late 1990’s. Dr. Elkinton will discuss a biological control effort based on the introduction of the specialist fly parasitoid Cyzenis albicans. Each year for 14 years, the Elkinton lab collected and reared C. albicans from British Columbia and released them across sites in the northeastern United States. By 2016 they have documented a decrease in the winter moth population along with an increase in parasitism rates by C. albicans.

View the recorded webinar of both of these topics at


10:00 - 11:00 AM: 2021 Updates from the MA Asian Longhorned Beetle Cooperative Eradication Program
Ryan Vazquez, Program Director, USDA APHIS PPQ-Asian Longhorned Beetle Cooperative Eradication Program- Massachusetts 
Mr. Vazquez will discuss current progress toward the eradication of the invasive Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis; ALB) in Worcester, MA and surrounding towns. This will include current program updates for the effort in Massachusetts, as well as a discussion of the most recent detection of ALB in the United States in Hollywood, South Carolina in 2020.

11:10 AM – 12:10 PM: Trapping for New Invasives in MA – 2021 Updates & APHIS Update for MA 
Kate Aitkenhead, State Plant Health Director for CT/MA/RI, USDA APHIS PPQ
Ms. Aitkenhead will discuss USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine efforts to detect new invasive insect pests in Massachusetts and regionally. This will include planned pest detection surveys in 2021 as well as notable results from 2020. Ms. Aitkenhead will also discuss surveys, detection methods, and signs to look for the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) in Massachusetts.

View the recorded webinar of both of these topics at


10:00 – 11:00 AM: The 1-2-3 Approach For Spotted-Wing Drosophila and Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Integrated Pest Management in Small Farms
Dr. Jaime Pinero, Extension Associate Professor and Tree Fruit Entomologist, UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture
Managing the invasive pests spotted-wing drosophila (SWD) and brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) has been a challenge for fruit and vegetable growers. This presentation will discuss the most relevant aspects of SWD and BMSB biology and behavior, effective monitoring tools, and reduced-risk Integrated Pest Management tools, including organic options, that can be implemented by small- and mid-scale growers.

11:10 AM – 12:10 PM: Spotted Lanternfly Monitoring in Massachusetts: Testing Airborne Attractants for Early Detection
Tawny Simisky, Entomology Specialist, UMass Extension’s Landscape, Nursery, and Urban Forestry Program, Dr. Jeremy C. Andersen, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Environmental Conservation, Dr. Jaime Pinero, Extension Associate Professor and Tree Fruit Entomologist, UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture, and Dr. Joseph Elkinton, Professor of Entomology, Dept. of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts
This presentation will introduce a 2021 research and extension project that will use airborne attractants and traps for the early detection of the spotted lanternfly in Massachusetts. Ms. Simisky will briefly review the biology, identification, impacts, and monitoring for SLF. Dr. Andersen will introduce an Integrated Research and Extension project to be conducted this season by the presenters. He will also discuss trapping, testing of lures, and eDNA sampling to be completed by the Elkinton Lab at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Pinero will share information about the work and contributions to this project to be completed by the Pinero Lab at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

View the recorded webinar of both of these topics at

To be notified of upcoming webinar dates and topics, join our e-mail list at:

Free (grant subsidized)
How to Participate: 

This FREE series is supported by the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture through grant AM180100XXXXG025. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the presenters and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA. Use the links below to register for each day.

Contact's name: 
Ellen Weeks
Contact's email: 
Contact's phone on day of event: 
This event will be recorded: