Gypsy Moth Caterpillars – What You Can Do About Them Now

While summer means worries about ticks and mosquitoes for many, there’s one pest you probably should be equally concerned about, especially for the health of your trees – gypsy moth caterpillars. While these tree pests have been around since the late 1800s, the reality is that they’re doing more damage than ever, and this is one pest you don’t want in your yard.

What Are Gypsy Moth Caterpillars and Are They Dangerous?

These tree pests are about two inches in length when they’re fully grown. They’re incredibly hairy, and you might notice blue and red dots along their backs.  

These pests aren’t dangerous to you or your pets, but they are very dangerous to your trees – they literally can exfoliate trees. While they prefer to feed on hardwood trees, they’ll eat almost anything. That means your apple and oak trees are at real risk, as well.

It’s not just your trees that are in trouble, either. It’s what’s under the trees that is affected too. Think about the surfaces under your trees. Have beautiful lawn furniture shaded by your trees? Maybe you have a gorgeous deck under those trees? These creatures will deposit their excrement under the trees, making it messy and unpleasant to enjoy your time outside.

Won’t the Leaves Just Grow Back?

Many homeowners believe their trees will just grow back their leaves after the caterpillar invasion. They’re not wrong. It is possible for the tree to begin re-foliating in three to four weeks, but that process creates a challenge for your trees. It takes an incredible amount of energy for a tree to re-foliate; as a result, the tree becomes far weaker and more susceptible to disease and rot, which could ultimately kill the tree.

An Innovative Treatment Method

While a gypsy moth caterpillar outbreak hasn’t always been easy to deal with, one new treatment method is helping homeowners fight the problem. Arborjet is the single best way to get rid of gypsy moth caterpillars. The process is a simple one. Our technician installs a small plug – called an Arborplug – on the side of your tree. That space serves as an injection port for the treatment needed to eliminate gypsy moth caterpillars.

Once injected into the tree, the treatment material flows throughout the trunk, reaching all branches and leaves. When a gypsy moth caterpillar stops by for a snack, it swallows the material and then dies inside of 24 hours. Eventually, the tree heals itself and grows right over the Arborplug.

The great thing about this gypsy moth caterpillar treatment is that it only treats the trees which have a gypsy moth caterpillar problem. Unlike a spray treatment, which can spread into your neighbors’ yards, this treatment is delivered to the specific tree(s) with the problem.  It is an environmentally responsible choice, so much so that it is even used by the USDA Forest Service.

Don’t wait for a gypsy moth caterpillar problem to ruin your trees and your outside plans. Call Ransford today to begin protecting your backyard trees from the gypsy moth caterpillar with an Arborjet treatment.

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