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Community Gypsy Moth Management

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Community Gypsy Moth Management

Fairfax County Forest Pest Management Branch

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Community Gypsy Moth Management

  1. 1. A Fairfax County, VA, publication Department of Public Works and Environmental Services Working for You! Community Gypsy Moth Management Fairfax County Forest Pest Management Branch May, 2015 Photo credit: Daniel Herms, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org
  2. 2. Urban Forest Management Division: Forest Pest Management Branch What is the gypsy moth? • Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) is an invasive insect pest that is native to Europe and Asia. It was introduced to North America in the late 1800s. • The gypsy moth is called a defoliator, which means it eats the leaves of trees, particularly oaks. 2 Male (left) and female (right) adult gypsy moths Gypsy moth caterpillar eating a leaf Photo credits: USDA Forest Service - Region 8 - Southern Archive, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Archive, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org
  3. 3. Urban Forest Management Division: Forest Pest Management Branch What is the big deal about the gypsy moth? • Defoliating insects like the gypsy moth can be one of the most destructive pests to plants and trees in the United States. • Gypsy moth has caused and will continue to cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to private property owners. 3 Photo credits: Tim Tigner, Virginia Department of Forestry, Bugwood.org; Haruta Ovidiu, University of Oradea, Bugwood.org
  4. 4. Urban Forest Management Division: Forest Pest Management Branch What does the gypsy moth do? • Gypsy moth caterpillars eat the leaves of oaks and other hardwood trees. • Because they are invasive and non-native, their populations can explode and cause large scale defoliation of forests. • Loss of leaves from trees from gypsy moth feeding causes stress and can contribute to the decline or death of affected trees. 4 Photo credits: Louis-Michel Nageleisen, Département de la Santé des Forêts, Bugwood.org
  5. 5. Urban Forest Management Division: Forest Pest Management Branch Gypsy moth monitoring and control • Female moths do not fly; they crawl up trees or other surfaces to lay eggs in beige colored, velvety masses. • These egg masses are relatively easy to spot and are counted to predict defoliation the caterpillars will cause when they hatch. • Fairfax County Urban Foresters conduct annual surveys to search for and count these egg masses between July and October. 5 Photo credits: Jim Occi, BugPics, Bugwood.org
  6. 6. Urban Forest Management Division: Forest Pest Management Branch Gypsy moth egg masses 6 Photo Credits: Daniela Lupastean University of Suceava, Bugwood.org; Milan Zubrik, Forest Research Institute - Slovakia, Bugwood.org
  7. 7. Urban Forest Management Division: Forest Pest Management Branch What is an egg mass and where do I find them? • Egg masses are oval shaped – Approximately 1 ½ inches long by ¾ inch wide – Beige or tan in color – Fuzzy and firm to the touch. • Each egg mass contains 500 to 1000 gypsy moth eggs. • Look for masses from the end of August until April of the following year. 7 Photo Credits: Milan Zubrik, Forest Research Institute - Slovakia, Bugwood.org
  8. 8. Urban Forest Management Division: Forest Pest Management Branch Where do I find egg masses? • Eggs are laid in sheltered areas – Tree trunks – Undersides of branches – Under picnic tables – Bird houses/feeders – Firewood piles – Eaves of houses – Disused vehicle tires/RVs – Tarps 8 Photo Credits: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Forestry Archive, Bugwood.org; USDA Forest Service - Region 8 - Southern Archive, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org; Rusty Haskell, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
  9. 9. Urban Forest Management Division: Forest Pest Management Branch What can I do? • You can help detect gypsy moth infestations: – Keep an eye out for the caterpillars or excessive leaf damage in the spring. – Search your property for egg masses in mid-summer. Female moths begin laying eggs in mid-July. 9 • Report egg masses in your neighborhood: – http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/environmental/ gypsy-moth-form.htm or scan the QR code (right) – 703-324-1770, TTY 711. • Become a part of a volunteer survey team on Fairfax County park land: • http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/volunteering/ • Search for “gypsy moth”.
  10. 10. Urban Forest Management Division: Forest Pest Management Branch What can I do: Search-Scrape-Destroy • Search your property for gypsy moth egg masses after mid-July. • You can control gypsy moth on your property by scraping egg masses into a container of soapy water or bleach solution. – A putty knife or other flat edged tool works well. • Avoid simply scraping eggs onto the ground. They will still hatch! 10 Photo credit: USDA APHIS PPQ Archive, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org
  11. 11. Additional Information For additional information, please contact www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes Urban Forest Management Division: Forest Pest Management Branch 11 Fairfax County Forest Pest Management Branch 703-324-1770, TTY 711 pestmail@fairfaxcounty.gov www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/environmental/gypsyffx.htm

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