What Can The Homeowner Do?

Mechanical Control

Destroying egg masses
In the winter and early spring egg masses can be destroyed by scraping them off anywhere they are present. DO NOT just scrape them to the ground as the eggs will remain viable. Removed egg masses should be collected into a container and then soaked in a soap and water mixture for a couple of days and then discarded of properly. If you wish to be part of the PA DCNR gypsy Moth Suppression Program do not remove all of the egg masses during the summer or fall. The presence of 250 egg masses per acre is one of the requirements for the program.

Barrier Bands*
In early spring barrier bands can be placed on the trunks of trees to collect young caterpillars. These bands have a sticky substance on them to trap young caterpillars as they crawl up the tree. These sticky bands will fill-up fast if the populations are high and will need to be replaced regularly.

Collection/Hiding Bands
After the caterpillars have matured to about one inch the barrier bands can be replaced with collection bands which are commonly made of burlap. These bands should be attached to the tree trucks at the top of the band so the caterpillars can crawl up underneath the bands and then be removed by hand.

These bands are available at some home and garden stores, nurseries, and on the internet.

Homeowners have the option to contact a certified pesticide applicator to apply a pesticide to the trees on their property. This control should be done when the caterpillars are still small. Click here to see a list of pesticides registered in PA for gypsy moth control.