Gypsy Moth

Spongy Moth

Over the past several weeks you may have noticed an unusual number of little black caterpillars crawling up and down your favorite trees. Schuyler County and much the rest of New York are currently experiencing a surge of Spongy Moth (Formerly called Gypsy Moths) Caterpillars thanks to favorable reproductive conditions over the past few years. The last outbreak of this magnitude in our area was in the late 1980’s, though there have been intermittent outbreaks of similar-looking pests like the Forest Tent Caterpillar. Regardless of which caterpillar is eating your trees, the options for controlling them are limited at this point in the growing season. Fortunately, healthy trees are well-adapted to tolerate occasional heavy defoliation from leaf-munching pests like Spongy Moths. But we can still try to reduce the stress on trees around the home, and learn from this experience to be better prepared the next time around! For more details on the Spongy Moth, visit: http://idl.entomology.cornell.edu/wp-content/uploads/Gypsy-Moth.pdf

Last updated April 27, 2022