Worms

Asked June 18, 2018, 2:28 PM EDT

Our property has been infested with caterpillars. I thought they were tent worms but my son thinks they are gypsy worms. We have millions of them and they are killing off my trees. We started spraying them 8 days ago with Dawn dish soap and water. 6 days ago we started using Sevens spray. 3 days ago we started scooping them into a bucket and burning them. We have burnt 5 buckets full. This hasn't even made a dent in them. It looks like 20 of our pine trees will need to be cut down - they are solid brown. My Silver Maple is covered with the worms and when we spray the trunk of the tree they fall off in sheets. We don't know what to do. They cover my house and pole barn exterior. Please give me suggestions.

Ingham County Michigan insect issues

1 Response

Sorry to hear about your battle with gypsy moth this year. There have been multiple reports of them in Ingham County this year. Get rid of as many egg masses as possible from rtee trunks and branches as they appear (usually August) to help cut down on next year's population. This article gives descriptions:

http://www.ipm.msu.edu/uploads/files/WoodyLandscape_PDFs/Insects_GypsyMoth.pdf

the caterpillars are easiest to kill while they are quite small. Once the larvae get larger, they are more difficult to kill successfully with insecticides. for trees that haven't yet been affected, you can place sticky bands around them to keep the caterpillars from climbing up the trunks. For management suggestions visit the links in this article. http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/growing_populations_of_gypsy_moth_caterpillars_raise_concern_for_landsc...

Gypsy moth numbers are cyclical. Usually, natural enemies of gypsy moth keep their numbers down. Populations of gypsy moth started increasing last year. Here is some information about their natural enemies, and what to look for:

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/files/e2700.pdf