Gypsy Moths Problems

You may have noticed gypsy moth populations have exploded this year. Oak trees have taken the worst damage from these non-native pests.

Although the trees may look dead or dying there is still hope. Trees that are sick or unhealthy may succumb to the defoliation, but chances are a native insect or fungus would have killed the tree anyways.

A healthy tree can withstand the gypsy moth outbreak and will leaf out after the caterpillars have had their share. Gypsy moth populations are cyclical or fluctuate over time. This year the population is high, but they will decrease by late summer and into next year. Using chemicals such as Bacillus Thuringiensis or Bt to control gypsy moths is not recommended unless the infestation is causing serious damage in a local area. Bt also kills native caterpillars, not just gypsy moths. It is best to spray in May to early June. One way to control future populations is to remove egg masses and soak them in soapy water overnight. More information can be found in the links below. Please contact us for questions or concerns regarding gypsy moths.

Michigan State University (MSU) page about scouting and destroying egg masses -

• MSU page about how to deal with gypsy moth -
• Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) gypsy moth page -,4570,7-350-79137_79770_79780-559297--,00.html
• MSU page about gypsy moth and Bt -