This year, 2021, while we were all trying to deal with the pandemic, the gypsy moths arrived in Ontario and proceeded to strip hundreds of trees of their foliage. This year’s outbreak was brought on by the warm winter and dry spring. This cycle can last two to three years, but the good news is that the trees will come back.
If you find gypsy moth caterpillars on your trees, the most effective way of dealing with them is to wrap the tree in burlap. Measure the circumference of the tree a cut a piece of burlap slightly larger. Wrap the burlap around the tree at shoulder height and secure it in the middle with string. Fold the burlap down. The gypsy moth caterpillars will climb up the tree from the ground. Check your burlap every day, fold back the burlap and remove any caterpillars that have crawled into it. Wear gloves and drop the caterpillars into hot soapy water for about 48 hours before disposing of them. There are many videos on the internet on how to do this.
Here is a fact sheet from the Invasive Species Centre Gypsy Moth -Fact Sheet Invasive Species Centre
We appreciate being granted permission to share these two documents from Michigan State University Extension, one shows the comparison of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar, the Forest tent Caterpillar and the Gypsy Moth Caterpillar Comparison of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar, Forest Tent Caterpillar and Gypsy Moth
Finally, again from Michigan State University Extension, a document called “The Good Guys” natural predators of the gypsy moth caterpillars. Natural Enemies of Gypsy Moth- The Good Guys!
Here’s a link to more information from Michigan State University Extension https://www.canr.msu.edu/ipm/Invasive_species/Gypsy-Moth/
Many thanks for sharing these articles with us.
If you have any questions, just contact us, we’d be happy to help.
And remember: your trees will survive!