NEW YORK STATE – New York’s Department of Environment and Conservation is facing an unusual quandary: there are more Gypsy Moth Caterpillars around than there have been in the past decade or so.
According to the DEC, the population numbers of these insects peak roughly every 10-15 years and then decrease due to predators and disease. As a result, the Department generally doesn’t actively manage the insects’ population or offer treatments to rid private properties of the bugs.
The caterpillars will eventually turn into moths, but until then, they can be seen causing moderate to severe leaf damage.
They will create a cocoon for themselves and re-emerge with wings, likely in mid-July, say officials. Furthermore, insecticides will not be effective at this stage of the critters’ lifecycle.
If you want to reduce the caterpillars on your property, you can use or make Sticky Barrier Band trap, but you must check these often to release other creatures caught in them that aren’t Gypsy Moth Caterpillars.
To learn more about the insects, visit the DEC’s website at dec.ny.gov/animals.
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