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Thread: Lymantria dispar - Spongy (Gypsy) moth

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    Default Lymantria dispar - Spongy (Gypsy) moth

    If you are in the NE and wondering why the foliage is taking so long to fill out, the reason is likely these guys. There are tons, way more than last year, and they are already munching.

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    Default Re: Lymantria dispar - Spongy (Gypsy) moth

    I have heard that for most moths, once they become actual moths, lose their mouths and begin to slowly starve.

    So these little guys better eat up! The foliage won't have to deal with them forever!

    In all seriousness, I'm sorry you have to deal with these pests. Hopefully they will be under control soon.

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    Default Re: Lymantria dispar - Spongy (Gypsy) moth

    They eat plenty and don't stay this size for long. Last summer whole hillsides were brown because none of the trees had leaves. The caterpillars area eventually susceptible to a bacteria that wipes them out after 2-3 years of over-abundance, so you have to protect vulnerable young trees with a bacillus prep that kills the caterpillars. Not much can be done for whole forests. And any pesticide that would kill off the caterpillars, would kill off all the beneficial insects as well. So just have to wait it out and hope the trees make it to the other side.
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    Default Re: Lymantria dispar - Spongy (Gypsy) moth

    Speaking of insect pests, this year I have a whole bunch of brown marmorated stink bugs, mostly in the garage, but some have also found their way into the house.

    Has anyone else had a problem with these, and if so, what did you do about them?

    There are a few different options to trap them, but it's hard to know ahead of time what's going to be most effective.

    TIA

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_...ated_stink_bug


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    Default Re: Lymantria dispar - Spongy (Gypsy) moth

    Great, I hadn't realized they were already getting going. Looks a lot like what is on one of the rose bushes that is starting up super slowly compared to the rest. It happens to be right next to what would be a great place to hide an egg mass.

    Hoping it doesn't kill the big maple in the front yard that is just about aged out but I don't there's much hope.

    Last year there were places west of town that just plain smelled bad when you rode up the hill. Mid June and it was like April with no leaves. Fortunately those trees pushed new leaves after the caterpillars became moths.
    Tom Ambros

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    Default Re: Lymantria dispar - Spongy (Gypsy) moth

    I remember the summer of '82 (I think?) when it was just unbelievable in New England. Only the pines had anything at all on them - everything else was gone. I remember my driveway in my childhood home (Boston suburb) having an inch thick - in some places more - of droppings that made it slippery to drive on, especially when wet. And the stink. And I'll never forget the sound - like it was raining all the time, except the raindrops were caterpillar droppings.
    I hope it's not that apocalyptic this year.

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    Default Re: Lymantria dispar - Spongy (Gypsy) moth

    Last night I had dinner outside at a friends house. All the drinking glasses had tops on them. When I got home, I had to clean the caterpillars out of my clothes right down to my skivvies.

    I sprayed the young trees around the house today. I have a hose sprayer coming later this week. And I might get a commercial company come in and soak everything good at least once. Just want to protect some of the younger trees that won't withstand total loss of foliage as well as some of the established ones.

    The most irritating thing is that the caterpillars send out a loop of "silk" and use it like a balloon to carry themselves from one tree to another. Just one egg case produces enough caterpillars to damage a couple acres. And you never have one egg case.
    Last edited by j44ke; 05-16-2022 at 03:50 PM.
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    Default Re: Lymantria dispar - Spongy (Gypsy) moth

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Last night I had dinner outside at a friends house. All the drinking glasses had tops on them. When I got home, I had to clean the caterpillars out of my clothes right down to my skivvies.

    I sprayed the young trees around the house today. I have a hose sprayer coming later this week. And I might get a commercial company come in and soak everything good at least once. Just want to protect some of the younger trees that won't withstand total loss of foliage as well as some of the established ones.

    The most irritating thing is that the caterpillars send out a loop of "silk" and use it like a balloon to carry themselves from one tree to another. Just one egg case produces enough caterpillars to damage a couple acres. And you never have one egg case.
    That's.... not good.
    Funny - here in south-central NH we've seen nada. But I'm not hopeful.

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    Default Re: Lymantria dispar - Spongy (Gypsy) moth

    Locally we're going to get whacked. Karen says every tree she looked at in Schenectady Central Park is infested. The two maples in my front yard are loaded. Last year the number of moths flying around was impressive and we took out every egg mass we found but we know we barely scratched the surface.

    Last year it was interesting, west of town there was an altitude band that got it on both sides of the river. It didn't seem to be a function of the types of trees though there were some that were favorites. The same species below and above would be left alone, in that band they were stripped.

    We need more cuckoos. Like 2 or 3 hundred per tree. Apparently they're the only thing that eats them.
    Tom Ambros

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    Default Re: Lymantria dispar - Spongy (Gypsy) moth

    Great crested flycatchers also. But yeah, the hairs on the caterpillars make them unappealing to most birds.
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    Default Re: Lymantria dispar - Spongy (Gypsy) moth

    Around my house it is like that Fellini movie, I forget the name of it, except it is brown horny moths. Karen found a female on the front walk and danced a jig on it.

    I hear that robins and starlings will eat the caterpillars and we certainly have had phalanxes marching back and forth for a while. Merlin even went "American Robin (belch call) the other day.

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