Gypsy moth infestation

Asked June 29, 2020, 9:19 PM EDT

We have an infestation of gypsy moth caterpillars that have taken over roughly 30 mature 80 ft pine trees in our yard. Several have turned completely brown when previously healthy green. They cover the limbs. A single limb may have 20-30 caterpillars on it and they have also attacked numerous mature massive maple and oak trees. We are Concerned about permanent damage to the numerous beautiful pine trees that have rapidly in the past few weeks gone from green to brown. Nearly 50 mature trees being affected on our property all surrounding our home. We have never had this issue before and now it seems out of our control and afraid of losing trees. Is there any type of spray to stop the caterpillars at this point? We have seen egg masses and read about scrapping them off to destroy hatching but the caterpillars ddamage to the pines is horrifyi

Eaton County Michigan

1 Response

It will be a challenge to protect trees of that size. Aerial spraying is coordinated at the city or county government level. If you'd like your local government to consider spraying you will have to reach out to them. To protect smaller high value plants in your landscape, you can use an insecticide with the active ingredient Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Be sure to read and follow the product label when using any pesticide, to ensure its effectiveness and the safety of yourself and others.
You can read more about Gypsy Moth in Michigan in this MSU Extension E-News article:https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/gypsy-moth-caterpillars-are-out-and-about