The Nantucket pine tip moth, Rhyacionia frustrana (Comstock) (NPTM), is an important pine regeneration insect in the Eastern and Southern United States (Berisford 1987). Larval feeding in meristematic tissue of young pines causes significant damage, particularly in areas where forest regeneration favors its proliferation (Yates and others 1981). Southeastern industrial forestry currently emphasizes establishment of large, homogeneous pine plantations to maximize production of wood and fiber. This forest management practice also creates optimal conditions for phytophagous insects, whose sole or primary hosts are pine trees. Increased damage by NPTM following vegetation control treatments may include improved suitability of pine tissue for larvae and a greater abundance of NPTM feeding sites (Ross and Berisford 1990). NPTM infestation rates tended to increase as site preparation intensity increased and levels of competing vegetation and overstory decreased (Berisford and Kulman 1967, Hertel and Benjamin 1977, Hood and others 1988, Lantagne and Burger 1988, White and others 1984, Zutter and others 1986). Miller and Stephen (1983) indicated competing herbaceous and woody vegetation provides food and shelter for NPTM predators and parasites.
Kulhavy, David; Yeiser, Jimmie L.; and Smith, L. Allen, "Nantucket pine tip moth control and loblolly pine growth in intensive pine culture: two-year results" (2004). Faculty Publications. 199.