Ever wonder how you can help fight against invasive species in Wisconsin? Well we have an answer! As trees sit leafless and another bout of gypsy moth destruction is still months away, you can take action by disposing of gypsy moth egg masses on your property. Now is the time to get rid of egg masses before they hatch in the spring.
What they are:
Each year, gypsy moth caterpillars defoliate thousands of acres of hardwood forests, yard trees and other urban trees throughout the United States, including Wisconsin. The gypsy moth is one of the most destructive pests of hardwood trees. This moth and other foliage-eating pests cause an estimated $868 million in tree damage each year.
Egg clusters may contain several hundred to a thousand eggs. The eggs are laid in mid to late summer and they hatch in the early spring. Destroying the egg masses on your property helps to decrease the amount of tree destruction caused by gypsy moths.
Where to find them:
Gypsy moth egg masses are typically laid on branches and trunks of trees, but they can be found in any sheltered location, such as sheds, sides of houses, rocks, trailers or patio furniture.
What to look for:
Gypsy moth egg clusters look like a piece of felt or velour. They are light brown when first laid, but may bleach over the winter months to yellow or off-white.
How to dispose of them:
The most effective way of getting rid of egg masses is to scrape them from the tree into a cup and either microwave them on high for two minutes or cover them in vegetable oil or soapy water for two days.
You may then discard eggs in the trash. Don't leave any part of the egg mass attached and don't allow it to fall onto the ground, they will survive to hatch in the spring!
Helping to decrease the gypsy moth population means helping to save trees in your area. Take action now to keep trees safer in the spring and summer!