How To Get Rid of Gypsy Moth Caterpillars


  • Author Heather Whitney
  • Published July 5, 2022
  • Word count 761

Gypsy moth treatment is commonly required to prevent damage to hardwood trees in backyards and many urban areas.

When summer hits, pests emerge from their winter slumber and begin to cause problems in the home or garden. The Gypsy Moth Caterpillar is one such insect that is growing more prevalent due to the damage it does.

Moth Gypsy Caterpillars cause the majority of their harm in agricultural crops and woods, where they consume vast amounts of leaves and plants. However, in recent years, they've spread into backyards and lawns in neighborhoods, where they may quickly devastate a landscape if no action is taken.


The caterpillar stage of the gypsy moth is the only one that feeds. They will be around 2 inches long when fully grown, very hairy, and feature five pairs of blue dots followed by six pairs of red dots down their back. Adult hairy moths with a 1-1/2 – 2 inch wingspan are gray (male) or white (female). The female moth does not fly, despite the fact that both sexes have wings.

Life Cycle Of the Gypsy Moth Caterpillar

The female gypsy moth deposits an egg mass, which she covers with body hairs to provide insulation and protect the eggs from predators.

The female gypsy moth dies soon after laying the egg mass, and the eggs survive the winter until temperatures rise in the spring, when they hatch.

Small black-headed gypsy moth caterpillars hatch and climb to the tops of trees, where they feed on the leaves or dangle from silk strands and float in the wind to colonize new trees.

Gypsy moth caterpillars have five or six instars and feed between late April and mid-June.

How To Control Them

Maintain as much cleanliness as possible in your yard. Remove any discarded goods, dead branches, stumps, or other areas where the adult female moth may lay egg masses. Any egg masses found should be destroyed.

The Gypsy Moth Trap is used to keep track of the moth population and may help keep male moths away from females.

Tanglefoot Pest Barrier can be wrapped around tree trunks to assist prevent caterpillars from entering and exiting the canopy.

To destroy gypsy moth caterpillars, spray the leaves of trees with Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki or Monterey Garden Insect Spray (Spinosad). Sprays should be administered when caterpillars are young, less than one inch long, for optimal results. Two (or more!) applications five days apart may be required in cases where populations are high.

AzaMax includes azadirachtin, the primary insecticidal component of neem oil. This concentrated spray inhibits pest insect growth and development while also acting as a repellant and antifeedant. It's also non-toxic to honey bees and a variety of other useful insects.

Only use the least toxic plant insecticides as a last resort. These natural insecticides, which are derived from plants with insecticidal qualities, have fewer adverse side effects than synthetic chemicals and break down more quickly in the environment.

How To Prevent Them

Insecticides are by far the most efficient way to deal with these unpleasant visitors on your property.

Mix and Apply Supreme IT

Supreme IT is a broad-spectrum insecticide that has been approved for use against more than 70 pests, including Gypsy Moth Caterpillars. It also has a long-lasting residual impact, which can keep pests at bay for up to 90 days following treatment.

Calculate how much Supreme IT you'll need to cover your entire lawn by measuring the square footage.

A gallon of water and 0.125 to 0.25 fl. oz. of Supreme IT will treat 1,000 square feet.

To get uniform coverage, mix the stuff in a sprayer and fan spray Supreme over your entire yard and garden.

Starting at the back and working your way forward, spray your entire lawn. Spray ornamentals and landscaping as well, concentrating only on non-edible vegetation regions. Fruit-bearing trees and flower gardens should not be sprayed.

After that, spray Supreme IT 3 feet up and 3 feet out from the foundation of the construction to create a barrier. Spray the foundation's window frames, door frames, and gaps and crevices as well. People and dogs should not enter treated areas until they are completely dry.

The final stage in entirely controlling Gypsy Moth Caterpillars and limiting the risk of re-infestation is prevention. Spray your yard with Supreme IT every three months to keep them at bay, especially during the spring and fall seasons when they are more likely to appear.


We hope that this article has been useful for you how to control and prevent the gypsy moth caterpillars in your garden. Please share with us your experience and thoughts.

Heather Whitney is a content creator and co-author of the website where she shares useful and practical tips and strategies on how to get rid of caterpillars in your garden, and keep it insect-free.

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