If you have a gypsy moth problem on your trees you probably already know it is not very fun and it can be extremely messy. Let's start with some general information about the problem at hand. Gypsy moth is an insect native to Europe and Asia it has been weakening trees across North America. Gypsy moth was introduced to North America in the 1860’s near Boston and has spread over the past century. Despite the use of insect predators, as well as fungal and viral controls, gypsy moth populations do occasionally reach outbreak levels and continue to expand their reach.
Gypsy moth caterpillars defoliate host trees, mostly hardwood species, such as: oak, birch, poplar, willow, maple and many more. In an outbreak year, nearly all broadleaf trees can be completely defoliated. The caterpillars will appear everywhere, and “frass” (caterpillar droppings) appear to rain from the trees. The adult gypsy moths are seen in mid-summer when temperatures are well above freezing. The defoliation from the caterpillars can leave chew holes in the leaves or completely strip a canopy depending on the age and the rate of infestation. Four development stages: egg, caterpillar, pupa and moth.
- Caterpillars are 5-6 centimetres long and have five pairs of blue dots and six pairs of bright red dots along their back.
- Female moths are white with dark markings and cannot fly at all.
- Male moths are brown and can fly.
- Females are larger than males ( 5 cm wingspan ) , males ( 2.5 centimetres.)
- Egg masses are about 4 cm long, tan colored, and are found on tree trunks, furniture, buildings, etc.
So what can our team of expert ISA certified arborists do for you?
We have several strategies to help control gypy moth on your trees and shrubs. Each option will depend on the size of your tree, what stage the insect is in and how bad your infestation is. We will send out one of our ISA certified arborists to assess the tree and landscape. Your consulting arborist will then email a detailed proposal with an action plan and firm cost. Some treatments can be done in a proactive manner like removing and bruning the egg masses. Banding can help to catch some of the caterpillars in the heat of the day. Keeping trees healthy to help ward off attacks by watering and deep root fertilizing is very helpful and recommended. Unfortunately once you have an infestation we will need to resort to treatments with a spray or systemic injection process. Rest assured we can help prevent and treat gypsy moth on your trees and shrubs today. Call or email for your free consultation and let's keep your trees and shrubs healthy together.