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Gypsy Moth

The gypsy moth partially or completely strips a host tree of its leaves.

When are gypsy moths active?

The caterpillars hatch in early April to late May and begin feeding on new tree leaves that are emerging at the same time. 

When the population is high, the caterpillars are a nuisance in residential areas and parks as they crawl on buildings, outdoor furniture, cars and lawns. 

What species of trees are at risk?

Oaks, especially white and chestnut oak, are the preferred food source of gypsy moths. Other popular hosts include:Female gypsy moth with egg mass

  • Alder 
  • Aspen 
  • Basswood 
  • Birch 
  • Hawthorn 
  • Willow 

What do the caterpillars look like?

Young caterpillars spin down from treetops on silken threads and are easily spread by the wind. Fully-grown caterpillars can be identified from other caterpillar species by the five pair of blue spots followed by six pair of red spots on their back. 

Solutions and Treatment

A tree weakened by gypsy moth feeding is more susceptible to injury from insects and diseases. To combat, two or three insecticide treatments may be necessary. In addition, trees should be fertilized to improve their ability to recover fro gypsy moth damage. 

Be sure your trees are in their best shape by finding your local certified arborist to get them inspected. 

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