Gypsy Moth Home Owner Control Techniques
for infested shade trees in your yard

The gypsy moth can cause a lot of damage to the trees in your yard.  Here are a few methods of gypsy moth control you can implement yourself to deal with this problem.

Home Owner's
Helpful Hints
to controlling
Gypsy Moth
and Mosquitoes
Egg Masses
One of the first methods of gypsy moth control involves getting rid of the egg masses.  They are usually found on tree trunks, rock walls, lawn furniture and dead bark.  Each egg mass can produce approximately 500 caterpillars. 

When you find these egg masses, you just scrape them and put them in a jar filled with either diluted alcohol, chlorine bleach or soapy water.
Barrier Bands
Barrier bands are another method of gypsy moth control.  These bands are coated with a sticky substance and wrapped around the trunk of a tree.  When the caterpillars try to climb the tree, they will stick to the barrier bands.

When the bands become full of caterpillars, you simply scrape them off and put the caterpillars in a jar of soapy water to drown them.  Barrier bands lose their effectiveness over time, so you will have to replace them occasionally.

Burlap Strip
Another method of gypsy moth control is a burlap strip.  A burlap strip is tied to a tree with twine or wire then folded down.  This provides an area of shelter for caterpillars to hide in during the day.  when the caterpillars come down from the tree and hide under the burlap strip each day, you simply collect them and put them in a jar.

Garden Hose
You can also use your garden hose for gypsy moth control.  When you spot small caterpillars during the spring, you can simply spray them with your garden hose.  If the hose has enough water pressure, this will kill many of them.  For even better results, you can use a hose attachment filed with insecticidal soap.

One of the final methods of gypsy moth control involves planting trees that don't attract the pests.  Some of the types of trees you can try planting include walnut, ash, locust, and sycamore trees.  If you plant these types of trees,  you will not see a lot of caterpillars in your yard.

The gypsy moth caterpillar is often confused with the eastern tent caterpillar, the striped oakworm and the fall webworm.  The eastern tent caterpillar spins webbing in the crooks of trees in the spring.  The striped oakworm is a large black caterpillar with distinct yellow stripes that run down the length of it's body.  It feeds in the fall.  The fall webworm builds large webbed nests on the ends of branches and emerge in the fall.  The gypsy moth does NOT produce webbing of any kind.

McManus, Michael L; Houston, David R & Wallner, William E (1979):  The homeowner and the gypsy moth: Guidelines for control.  Home and Gard. Bull. 227: 4-33 US Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC

Mosquito Home Owner Control Techniques

Homeowners can effectively reduce the number of mosquitoes around their homes and neighborhoods by eliminating standing water where mosquitoes grow and breed. 

Please read the following tips.

Old tires, cans, pails and other water holding containers are ideal breeding sites.  Store them upside down or get rid of them.

Fill in or drain low spots in your yard

Keep ditches, drains and culverts clear of weeds and trash so that water will drain properly.

Drain water from tarps or plastic sheeting which cover wood piles, boats, pools, etc.

Keep eaves troughs clean of leaves and debris.

Empty plastic wading pools at lest once a week and store them inside when not in use.

Unused backyard swimming pools may also create breeding problems.

Change bird bath water weekly.

Fill in tree rot holes and hollow stumps with sand or concrete.

Keep boats/canoes covered or upside down.

Keep grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed so that adult mosquitoes will not hid there in the daytime.

Use a fine mesh screen on top of rain barrels so that female adults cannot reach the water surface to lay eggs.