Gypsy moth caterpillars and oak tree droppings

Asked July 10, 2019, 10:16 AM EDT

Hi, We've been seeing a lot of caterpillars around. From an article in the Montmorency paper, I see they they are gypsy moth caterpillars. Our back deck is under a big old oak tree. This year, for the first time, we're seeing small poppy seed sized messy little dark balls falling. We blow them away (and wipe off the table) and in a few hours they are back. We are also seeing some chewed-on leaves falling on the deck (no many). Do you know what these are? What should/can we do to control this, if anything. Is it safe to wipe up and/or blow into the grass. We've lived with this tree for 14 years and its never done this before. Thank you.

Montmorency County Michigan

3 Responses


The droppings are gypsy moth caterpillar frass (poop). They should be don in a weeks or so.


Thank you. I'd done some research since and thought that is what it was.

Could you tell me again how many weeks of this to expect...because there's a typo in your response. I HATE this disgusting stuff!

Also, I don't have access to an arborist here. The county is considering aerial spraying because the problem is so widespread. But, is this likely to be the same next year? Should I use a product like AceCap 97==a spiral of herbicide plugs into the tree next spring?

They should be done in a week or so.