If you have hardwood trees, you may see an infestation of gypsy moths, winged fuzzy gray insects with one-and- one-half to two-inch wing spans. Due to a shortage of traditional silk moths the late 1860's from a disease, Etienne Leopold Trouvleot, an artist, collected gypsy moths to study their silk production, but some larvae escaped.
While not harmful to humans, gypsy moths can cause serious damage to trees. Get rid of gypsy moths yourself by applying the following methods.
Prepare to Get Rid of the Moths
To get rid of gypsy moths, gather:
Keep wood piles reduced around the yard, since the piles give the moths an easy hiding place. If possible, buy wood locally to avoid transporting it across long distances. Discard dead tree limbs, stumps, and other debris from the yard.
Never depend on the cold weather to get rid of the moths, since eggs can survive in subzero temperatures. It also helps to add more lighting around the yard..
Remove the Nests
Gypsy moth nests typically appear in late winter and early spring, and the the moths commonly lay one-inch tan egg nests on tree bark. When the temperature is 40 degrees F, mist the nests with horticultural spray designed for gypsy moths to prevent hatching.
If you prefer, make a mixture of dish soap in water in a bucket, and add the soap until suds form. Use a thin scraper to dislodge the nests into the soapy water, taking care not to damage bark, and ensuring no eggs land on the ground. Leave the nests in the mixture for forty-eight hours.
Certain species of birds feed on gypsy moths, including blue jays nuthatches, blackbirds, robins, woodpeckers, and cuckoos. Find out what birds are common in your area, and set up bird feeders to attract them to the property.
Buy bird feeders according to the type of bird you wish to attract. It is best to avoid feeding birds bread, rice, or other foods rich in carbohydrate, since it may be toxic or offer little nutrition for them.
Use Burlap Rolls
Moths can't jump on tree leaves, so a burlap roll will trap them, since they provide space for the insects to crawl under it. Prepare a bucket of soapy water, wrap the burlap around the trees, and tie it with twine in the middle, so the top folds over. After several hours, check the burlap, and brush off insects into the soapy water. You may need to repeat the recess several times.
Contact a service, like Environmental Pest Control, for more help.
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