Four stages of gypsy moths and how to control them.
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Four stages of gypsy moths and how to control them.

Home Garden Four stages of gypsy moths and how to control them.

Four stages of gypsy moths and how to control them.

Controlling the gypsy moth problem is a three prong attack and every step  through out thge lifecycle of the gypsy moth adds a step to controlling their destruction.

After seeing the massive defoliation caused by hungry gypsy moth caterpillars (larvae) eating the leaves people rush out for a one-shot cure usually consisting of putting some-kind of sticky band around the tree. Although this works somewhat you need to control the outbreak from the get go.

Four stages of gypsy moths and steps to control them

 There are four distinct development stages of the gypsy moth: egg, caterpillar, pupa and moth. Caterpillars are 5-6 centimetres long with five pairs of blue dots and six pairs of bright red dots along their back. Female moths are white with dark markings and cannot fly.

Egg Stage

  1. Locate the gypsy moths egg masses. Eggs are laid in July and August. According to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, egg masses take the shape of a tear, are no longer than 1 1/2 inches long, and come in bunches of 600 eggs.

  2. Mix 2 cups of hot water with 3 tbsp. of liquid dish soap in a small bucket.

  3. Scrape the egg masses off of the trees, leaves, or objects you find them on with a putty knife and drop them in to the bucket full of soapy water. This will prevent the eggs from hatching in to gypsy moth caterpillars.

  4. Drain out the water and put the egg masses in a paper bag and burn them.

Caterpillar & Pupa Stage

  1. NOTE: We do not recommend spraying insecticides as it is not an ECO friendly way of controlling a problem and might hurt other flying insects and bees! But IF you want to do it anyways please take extra caution and limit its use!
    Purchase an insecticide that is effective against gypsy moth caterpillars: Bifenthrin, Carbaryl and Permethrin.

  2. Read the product label on the insecticide you chose, and take all safety precautions necessary. This may include wearing gloves, goggles and long clothing. Use in small quantities and be aware of other insects and bees!!

  3. Spray the gypsy moth caterpillars with the insecticide as instructed on the product label. You will find the gypsy moths in the caterpillar stage during the months of May and June.

Moth Stage

  1. At the moth stage the males are flying around and looking for the females to mate with. Remember the males fly the females can’t. So at this stage all you can do is to trap as many males as you can and or destroying the females before they lay eggs.  See the steps to make your DYI gypsy moth trap and gypsy moth pheromone lure!