garden seeds

Gypsy Moth

Description: Larvae are gray caterpillars 2" long, with long brown hair. They eat tree foliage of all kinds. Eggs hatch in late April or early May and larvae search for food immediately. At early stages, the damage to leaves is slight and is often overlooked, but the early stages are when these pests are most vulnerable to control by Bt. In their last stage before becoming moths, the larvae feed in mass, causing overnight defoliation. In late June or early July the caterpillars stop feeding and begin their transformation into adult moths.

Solution: The crucial control period is late April to June 15th. By mid-June the caterpillars have grown to 3/4" long and begun to defoliate leaves. By applying Bt ssp. kurstaki at 10-14 day intervals in April through June (3 or 4 applications), damage to leaves can be almost totally eliminated. Just 2 applications are enough to prevent noticeable defoliation. Spraying with Neem-AwayTM Insect Spray or PyolaTM Insecticidal Spray also controls larvae. Use Slick n' Stick Tape and Bug Gum to form a virtually impregnable barrier around the tree. Caterpillars feed only at night. During the day they crawl down to hide in debris on the ground. Caterpillars cannot cross the Bug Gum.


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