Presentation: Spongy Moths & Cicadas: Facts & Fallacies

Spongy Moths & Cicadas: Facts & Fallacies

Dr. Frederic Miller


Wednesday, April 10, 2024


Riverside Public Library




Below are the links to the videos produced on Wednesday, April 10. Riverside TV directly uploads videos to YouTube and Facebook. The videos are also now available on Xfinity channel 6, exclusively in Riverside, and on AT&T U-Verse channel 99, throughout the State of Illinois.

Olmsted Society Lecture: Spongy Moths and Cicadas: Facts and Fallacies

Facebook Link

YouTube Link

Thank You and Acknowledgements

This video was recorded by Hunter Duzek and Alex Mudd. A special thank you to the crew, who woke up bright and early for this.

Dr. Frederic Miller of the Morton Arboretum and Riverside Village Forester Michael Collins will address two threats to Riverside trees and plant life; the ongoing danger of the Spongy Moth and the return of the 17-year cicada brood this summer. Spongy Moths pose a threat to trees and plants during their caterpillar stage. The caterpillars feed voraciously on leaves, defoliating trees and weakening them. In severe infestations, they can even kill their host tree. While adult cicadas don’t directly harm trees and plants by feeding on them, their egg-laying behavior can damage young twigs and branches. Female cicadas slit the bark of woody plants to deposit their eggs, which can cause breaking, wilting or dieback in affected limbs.

As a scientist, presenter Dr. Frederic Miller writes, “2024 will be a unique year as the 17-year periodical cicada will be emerging throughout northern Illinois. This is a short, but very interesting entomological event worth enjoying. We will discuss the fascinating biology and feeding habits of the periodical cicada, egg laying preferences, susceptible woody plant species, and potential for damage to young trees, whips, and seedlings. Practical management methods will be presented for homeowners.”

Presented with the Riverside Public Library and the Riverside Landscape Advisory Commission. Reservations required at: Link to Riverside Public Library

Frederic Miller, Ph.D.
Dr. Fredric Miller is Senior Scientist – Entomology at The Morton Arboretum, in Lisle, Illinois.

Dr. Miller currently serves as the acting Forest Health Specialist for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. He is actively involved with the Illinois chapter (IAA) of the International Society of Arboriculture and the National Walnut Council (NWC).

Dr. Miller’s applied research focuses on insect pests, pathogens, and abiotic (non-living environmental) factors affecting urban and rural forests, as well as, emerald ash borer population dynamics.

Dr. Miller received his B.S.F. in Forest Management from the University of Missouri, a M.S. in Forest Entomology from the University of Arkansas, and a Ph.D. in Urban Forest Entomology, with a minor in Plant Pathology, from Iowa State University.

Michael Collins
Michael Collins has been Riverside’s Municipal Forester for 19 years. Prior to his arrival in Riverside, Michael worked at Cantigny Gardens as Grounds Arborist and the Morton Arboretum as a Research Assistant.

Michael has been a Certified Arborist for over 25 years. He also received his Municipal Specialist Certification with International Society of Arboriculture and completed his Tree Risk Assessment Qualification. Mr. Collins volunteers as a Municipal Director with the Illinois Arborist Association. He also serves as a co-chair for the Tree Stewardship and Planting workgroup. This workgroup is a part of the Chicago Region Trees Initiative, advocating for increasing the region’s tree canopy by 2050.

Mr. Collins received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison in Forest Science and Master’s degree from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Natural Resources.