Caterpillars begin to hatch
Depending on the temperature, gypsy moth caterpillars start hatching in late April through mid-May in Wisconsin. Sticky barrier bands should be up by the first week of May. Directions on how to make a sticky barrier band. Monitor these each day and sweep caterpillars trapped below the barrier band into a bucket of soapy water. Two important notes: 1) be aware that trees with deep furrows in the bark allow caterpillars to sneak behind the barrier band and hide. 2) Do not put the sticky material directly on your tree. Insecticides may also be used to help control gypsy moth at this time of year.
Aerial spray treatments to suppress outbreaks or slow the spread of gypsy moth occur in mid to late May when caterpillars are very small and vulnerable to the bacterial insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk). Maps of treatment areas are available online at www.gypsymoth.wi.gov. Treatment schedules are dependent on weather. Daily updates are available by phone at: 1-800-642-6684.