Gypsy Moth

Boulder Tree Service

The Gypsy Moth was brought to the US in 1869 as part of a failed experiment to start a domestic silkworm industry.  Gypsy Moths are a pest that is known to consume the leaves of over 500 species of trees, shrubs, and plants.  They have had a large impact on the defoliation of deciduous trees of North America.  Tree damage can range from light to complete defoliation.  Gypsy moths prefer oak trees as their primary food source but will spread to many other species if the opportunity arises.

Gypsy Moth larvae emerge from eggs sometime between early spring and mid-May.  The caterpillar develops through a series of moults, each one bringing a larger appetite for foliage.  By late June to mid-July the larvae enter the pupal (cocoon) stage, finally emerging as adult moths in late summer.  The moths then mate, lay eggs in late summer, and lastly die off to end the life-cycle.

Eggs of a gypsy moth appear on trees and outdoor furniture in the form of small (1.5 inch) tan hair clusters.  The caterpillars begin as small brown or black worms, and progress to larger caterpillars with bumps and coarse black hairs.  Each section of the caterpillar has a pair of colored spots, the first five blue, and the last six are red.  The adult moths will only be seen in later summer and males are grey-brown, while females are whitish and cannot fly.

Walker Tree Care has a plant healthcare department that is trained and equipped to deal with infestation and prevention of Gypsy Moths.