December – February

Spray or scrape egg masses

Gypsy moth eggs are tough! They can survive temperatures as low as –20°F.

You can spray egg masses with a labelled horticultural oil when the temperature is over 40°F.  Oiling egg masses with horticultural spray oils labeled for gypsy moth (such as Golden Pest Spray Oil) when temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit will suffocate the eggs so they do not hatch in April.  This can help reduce the population of gypsy moth next spring.  Spray oils labelled for gypsy moth are available for purchasing online or at some garden centers and retailers.  If you have many egg masses, consider adding food coloring to your spray oil so you can see which egg masses you’ve already treated.  Although more difficult, and you must be careful not to damage the bark of the tree, you can also scrape egg masses into a cup and either microwave them on high for 2 minutes or cover them with soapy water for 2 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 next spring!

Spraying gypsy moth egg masses with an approved horticultural oil

Scraping egg masses into a can of soapy water

Photo Credits: Bill McNee WI DNR; Cliff Sadoff Purdue University.