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European Gypsy Moth

What is it The Gypsy Moth is a native of Eurasia that was introduced to North America, specifically Boston, Massachusetts, in 1869 as an attempt to start a silkworm industry. Some of the moths escaped and have become a major pest in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. However, every state has the potential for an infestation since they all contain habitat that is considered suitable for Gypsy Moths. Damage to trees is caused by the caterpillars that emerge in the spring and feast on the trees’ leaves. The caterpillar feasts on leaves until late summer when it pupates to turn into a moth. They have the potential to completely defoliate a tree. The caterpillars prefer deciduous hardwoods, especially oak, but in heavy infestations, the caterpillar will dine on any kind of tree, including evergreens. The mature caterpillars are between 50-65 mm long and identifiable by their yellow and black heads and a distinctive body pattern, 5 blue spots followed by 6 red spots. However, these features are not present in young caterpillar (those measuring less than 12 mm). As an adult, the moths are sexually dimorphic, meaning they vary in appearance between males and females. Females are larger […]
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