Gypsy Moths and Your Property
What is a Gypsy Moth and how did it get here?
The gypsy moth was introduced in the late 1860’s into the United States by Etienne Leopold Trouvelot, a French scientist living in Medford, Massachusetts. Because native silk-spinning caterpillars were susceptible to disease, Trouvelot imported the species in order to breed a more resistant hybrid species. Some of the moths escaped, found suitable habitat, and began breeding.
The gypsy moth is now a major pest of hardwood trees in the eastern United States.
Effects of Gypsy Moths
Since 1980, the gypsy moth has defoliated over one million acres of forest each year. In wooded suburban areas, during periods of infestation, gypsy moth larvae crawl over man-made obstacles and sometimes enter homes. When feeding, they leave behind a mixture of small pieces of leaves and frass, or excrement. During outbreaks, the sound of moths chewing and dropping frass may be loud enough to sound like light to moderate rainfall.
What could happen if your trees are left untreated?
Trees in Connecticut use their stored-up energy to foliate in the spring. The gypsy moths start foraging tree leaves in May just after the trees have started to foliate. The gypsy moths leave the tree drained of energy and weakened as the tree uses its back up energy stores to try and re-foliate. Trees weakened by previous years of defoliation or subjected to other stresses like droughts, are frequently killed after a single half-defoliation.
- Hundreds of different species of trees are susceptible to gypsy moths.
- They spread from tree to tree on silk threads, therefore infesting all the trees on your property; Through wind currents these caterpillars can thread for miles.
- Pines and Hemlocks are subject to heavy defoliation and are more likely to be killed than hardwoods.
We have numerous treatments available including environmental friendly options!
Remember: It is more cost effective to spray for the treatment of gypsy moths now than to remove a dying/diseased/dead tree a few years from now.