Dealing with a Gypsy Moth Caterpillar Problem
If you have noticed gypsy moth caterpillars on your property, you are likely worried about the possibility of the destruction of trees and other plants that they are drawn toward. Gypsy moth caterpillars chew on the leaves of deciduous trees and cause them to die if an infestation of these pests becomes prevalent. Here are steps to take if you are dealing with an infestation of gypsy moth caterpillars in your area.
Protect Trees with Tape Bases
Gypsy moth caterpillars feast on many varieties of trees. During the summertime, you may hear the sound of them munching leaves during the nighttime hours. To protect trees, wrap the perimeters of their trunks with double-sided tape. Gypsy moth caterpillars that climb on this tape will become stuck and not able to access the leaves above. They will then die on the tape since they are unable to eat or drink. Replace the tape every week to ensure the caterpillars are continuously trapped throughout the summertime months.
Contact a Professional for Help
It is best to refrain from using pest control products that kill off a variety of insects. If you do not have any insects in your yard at all, birds are less likely to frequent your property, thereby allowing the gypsy moth population to continue growing. A professional pest control service has top-grade products available to pinpoint control specifically to gypsy moths. This type of agent may need to be reapplied throughout the summertime months to ensure the pests are eradicated completely. If gypsy moths are causing problems for many of your neighbors, contact your county health department to inquire as to whether they intend on using planes to spray the area for gypsy moths. This will help you determine whether there is a need for more frequent visits from a pest control service.
Prepare for the Following Year
While preparation in stopping gypsy moth infestations the following spring will not aid in their removal currently, the process of removing eggs in the current year can help to keep your trees protected in the future. Gypsy moth caterpillars lay their eggs in the late summer. They hatch into small moths which live a few days before perishing. Moths do not cause destruction to trees, but the eggs that they laid will emerge into new caterpillars in the spring. If you see eggs on leaves, outdoor furniture, and wood piles, pick them up using gloved hands and place them into a bucket of soapy water. Eggs can also be burned or buried.