It’s that time of year when we see gypsy moth caterpillars emerge and wreak havoc on our trees. You won’t ever completely eliminate this insect, but you can control some of the damage. Spraying insecticides kills pollinators, other beneficial insects, and often birds and toads. So besides having a professional come spray your affected trees, there are some strategies you can use to help decrease the caterpillar invasion. Check the website GypsyMothAlert.com for a great pictorial of gypsy moth control strategies for the homeowner, as listed below:
1. Use duct tape and tanglefoot on trees.
2. Wrap trees with folded burlap strips.
3. Wrap trees with burlap strips sprayed with insecticide (can kill beneficial insects too).
4. Use gypsy moth traps.
5. Learn to identify gypsy moth egg masses and destroy them: Massachusetts Gypsy Moth Fact Sheet
6. Aid the spread of virus fatal to gypsy moths.
7. Encourage birds to visit your property. Plant a variety of plant species that provide refuge, nesting, and food throughout each season. ensure there is a clean water source nearby.