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  1. Ed M says

    Avoid any sprays, organic or otherwise. These chemicals kill beneficial native insects too. You don’t want to kill our butterflies, do you? Or warbler food? Instead use a sticky product, like Tanglefoot. We did, and it worked. Saved our trees. Caterpillars drop to ground at end of daytime eating, and crawl back up tree in morning to eat again. They can’t get past that barrier. Eventually they’ll pupate much too early at the lower barrier perimeter, and these pupae do NOT survive. We bought the tape, AND the ‘peanut butter- looking gunk, spreading it along the tape. Works GREAT. Ps- if egg masses already there, and you see black dots on those egg masses, those are signs a beneficial parasitic wasp laid its eggs in each moth egg. Good sign. Spraying would kill that beneficial egg too; another reason to use the sticky barrier. Good luck to you.

    • Ed M. says

      Just to be clear, if the pupae form prematurely as they will if caterpillars can’t cross the sticky barrier, then they can’t reach more leaves to eat. Not for the lack of trying! They will circle round and round the tree endlessly searching for a way up, finally giving up and turning prematurely into pupae. Result? Moths won’t develop from these undernourished pupas; consequently mating won’t occur, and no egg masses laid. You’ve just stopped the cycle.

  2. Boreas says

    Already seeing many thousands of 1st-2nd instar caterpillars on my property despite destroying as many egg-masses as I could over the fall/winter/early spring. First tree attacked seems to be my dwarf cherry planted last year. The young caterpillars just eat round holes in the leaves – likely leaving the rest for when they come back later! I may try some Sevin spray, Neem oil, Tanglefoot on select trees. Fingers crossed for my trees this year. Hopefully most survive.

  3. Jeff Ward says

    Spongy moths prefer oaks, but will devour cherry trees, aspen, even pines and maples if hungry enough.

  4. A frustrated NYer says

    This is my third year of these caterpillars… They are endless. I have sprayed because they have killed multiple spruce trees in my yard that are not and probably won’t recover. I scraped the nests off that I could reach last fall and this spring, but there are nests way up in the trees where you can’t reach. Mine aren’t coming out of the trees. They are staying up high eating everything in sight. It’s frustrating. I hate these little suckers. My areas trees were defoliated terribly last year. Sadly many coniferous trees won’t survive it.

    • Michele M Gautreau says

      We are suffering yet again also. Here in Warren Co., NY we lost so very many of our favorite trees and those that survived last year are suffering again. We already have damage to our plum and apple trees and sadly our towering oaks probably will go in the wood stove after this round. We have too much acreage to get the lower nests and like you cannot reach the taller ones. When we had the latest windy days we were inundated with flying miniature caterpillars on silk. Now, again, it’s too late. Many in the area can (and are) paying for the spray but we are retired and that is not in our financial realm. The person who brought these invaders to our lands did a definite disservice to our environment and us. Good luck to you.

  5. maria i cybulski says

    I live in glenville community mobile home park on rout 5 , this is the 2nd yr, that the huge oak tree is eaten , last yr i went and cleaned as far as i could reach the egg masses and so did my neighbores , but we have wood behind us and it is worse this yr, than last yr,

  6. Cathy says

    We have a new baby and starting to crawl and was concerned about this year at silver bay lake ! Last year was so bad we couldn’t leave our room for a week ! Still bad this year ?

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