Gypsy Moth Location
The Gypsy Moth is an expensive pest of shade, forest and fruit trees, especially apple, elm, oaks, and aspen. Accidentally let loose near Boston in 1869, it now inhabits an area from the east coast to Michigan, and as far south as North Carolina.
Gypsy Moth Appearance and Habits
The gypsy moth begins as a brown, hairy caterpillar, 2 inches long, with 5 pairs of blue bumps along the back, followed by 6 pairs of red ones. They feed in June and July, stripping the trees. They pupate inside a few-threads spun on limb or tree trunk and produce moths in 17 to 18 days. The brown, yellow-marked male flies freely, but the heavy female does not use her white wings with their wavy dark markings. Egg clusters are white or yellow and covered with hairs, can be as large as 1/2″ to 1″ in diameter, and are found under tree branches, in gutters, under ledges, or any other good hiding place. Distribution is by crawling of caterpillars, wind dispersal of young larvae, or by the removal of some object, such as an automobile or railroad car, with attached egg case.
How to Control Gypsy Moths
Destroy eggs whenever possible.
In early April, wrap 2″ wide sticky barrier bands around trees. There are many commercially available products, which prevent caterpillars from climbing up the tree.
The Gypsy moth has many natural predators, such as mice, flies, beetles, and wasps.
Spray with BT, twice, 5-7 days apart.