Gypsy moths are making a comeback in New England this year. The caterpillars emerged from their eggs in May, and they feed on the leaves of your trees throughout the Summer until they turn into gypsy moths. They infest your entire property by spreading from tree to tree on silk threads. A strong wind can break the thread, carrying these pests to a new location. The south-central and eastern Connecticut areas have reached outbreak status of the gypsy moth population.
Cause of the gypsy moth this uptick
The fungus, entomophaga maimaiga, is known to decrease the populations of these pests. This fungus releases spores that attach to gypsy moth larvae. These spores grow through the exoskeleton, eating away at the insides of the larvae. However, this year’s dry weather has not been conducive to the growth of these fungi, creating an ideal environment for this invasive species to thrive.
What this means for your trees
These invasive defoliators will mainly target your oak trees. However, you may also see them on various other trees. They pose a severe risk to pines and hemlocks, which are more likely to be killed than hardwoods. Unfortunately, they will leave your tree drained of energy and weakened. While your trees can survive a year of the defoliation that these caterpillars cause, the dry weather on top of this put even more stress on the tree and cause significant damage. Some infestations are so bad that the sound of these moths chewing may be loud enough to sound like rainfall.
How Eric’s Tree Service can help
We have a state-of-the-art sprayer that contains a mild insecticide, which we apply to the infected foliage. After our spraying, caterpillars will die off within 24 hours. Moreover, our gypsy moth control is much more cost-effective than the process of removing a tree that they damaged. Learn more about how we can tackle the gypsy moth problem here.