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Spongy (formerly Gypsy) Moth

Spongy (formerly Gypsy) moth is a non-native pest that has adapted to Michigan landscapes.

The Spongy (formerly Gypsy) moth caterpillars hatch in spring and often go unnoticed until they have developed into larger caterpillars. They feed on a wide range of trees including oaks, poplars, willow, birch, white pine, blue spruce and many fruit trees while developing through their caterpillar stages before they pupate into a moth. When the Spongy (formerly Gypsy) moth population is high, usually do to spring drought, trees are at risk of defoliation. Trees that lose a large amount of leaves to hungry caterpillars can become stressed because their energy reserves are now used to produce a second set of leaves. Conifers, especially pines, may be permanently damaged if totally defoliated.

By mid-summer, numerous female moths lay their eggs. Egg masses can contain up to 400-600 eggs. Since the females cannot fly, the eggs will usually be laid on or near the property from which it hatched and can be found in just about any spot that is dark and protected.

Consult with a Branch Tree Service ISA Certified Arborists about treatment options.


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