Update from Heather Faubert, URI Extension on April 18, 4 pm:
As expected, winter moth eggs started to hatch in Kingston, RI. I found one empty egg shell yesterday afternoon and 7 empty egg shells this afternoon. I think it would be a good idea to spray apples and blueberries in winter moth areas with an insecticide by Monday, April 21st.
The tiny caterpillars are very susceptible to insecticide before they get into buds. For organic growers I said the only organic insecticide I knew would work was Entrust. Well, last night I was talking to an organic grower, and a couple of years ago I suggested he try Neemix to control winter moth. He said it worked great and that’s what he’s going to use this year.
If you have further questions, conatct Heather at URI Cooperative Extension via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call the URI Extension office at 401-874-2967 or Heather’s cell at 401-256-7438.