Gypsy Moth Caterpillars

Beware of the Gypsy Moth Caterpillars

Introduced into America over 200 years ago, the gypsy moth and have quickly become one of the most destructive tree pests and shrub pests in North America.

The minute the eggs hatch, gypsy moth caterpillars begin feasting on the leaves of millions of acres of trees and shrubs annually. They have the potential to completely defoliate an entire tree in just one season. Losing even a portion of its leaves can severely stress a tree, putting it at risk for either a secondary pest infestation or several tree diseases. Depending on the type of tree and its health, attacks by gypsy moths can significantly weaken or even kill a tree.

The Signs of Gypsy Moth Infestation

Gypsy moths eggs hatch in the spring as little fuzzy caterpillars, about 2 to 2.5 inches long, with a two distinctive rows of spots down their backs. You may see them crawling anywhere outdoors, on outdoor furniture, cars etc. and finally making their way up the bark of trees. Once within the leaves of trees or shrubs, the feast begins. Besides viewing the caterpillar climbing the tree, when infestation has occurred you will notice:

Egg masses on tree trunks, outdoor furniture, swing sets, yard tools and lumber
Holes in leaves
Noticeable defoliation of trees and shrubs

When infestation is high you can actually hear the gypsy moths eating the leaves and discarding their remnants – the sound is similar to that of a light rain shower. And because gypsy moths are originally not native to our areas, there are few natural enemies to keep them in check.

Gypsy Moth Prevention and Treatment

North Eastern Tree Care believes in preventing gypsy moth infestations before they happen through a well gypsy moth caterpillar control and prevention program as part of your normal tree care spraying services. With our pest management programs, we feature a proactive approach to the control of gypsy moth infestation and prevention of further damage by the gypsy moth caterpillar.

If you already have a gypsy moth caterpillar infestation, North Eastern Tree Care’s tree spraying services for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will work with you to develop rapid, hard-hitting and effective gypsy moth treatments. Our gypsy moth caterpillar prevention program consists of three highly effective steps:

We apply our gypsy moth control and prevention tactics according to the lifecycle of the gypsy moth caterpillar, with our initial gypsy moth prevention treatments occurring in the spring when the gypsy moth is most vulnerable. This minimizes the damage the gypsy moth caterpillars will casue to your trees and shrubs.
If you have a severe gypsy moth caterpillar infestation, North Eastern Tree Care uses customized gypsy moth treatments to knock down the population and minimize damage to your trees. Our spray treatments reach high into the trees to deliver fast and effective control.

We then work to develop a tailored follow-up program, applying gypsy moth treatments during each stage in the gypsy moth lifecycle to exterminate the infestation and help to prevent future problems.


For more information about our Gypsy Moth Caterpillar prevention, Contact Northeastern Tree Care or call 1-888-439-TREE today!



Boxwood Blight

Boxwood Blight: A widespread fungal disease that effects all Boxwood varieties. Therefore it is especially devastating to English and American varieties; Korean varieties show signs of resistance. The sticky fungal spores are dispersed by wind, animals and birds, shoes and loose clothing, garden tools, etc. It is also supported by hosts plants Pachysandra terminalis and Sarcococca species once in a landscape. The primary spread of blight is through introduction of  asymptomatic plant material to unaffected areas. Symptoms appear as small brown to black lesions on leaves and twigs, quickly spreading through and from plant to plant and across the landscape, leaves turn straw color and fall off.

There is no post infectious cure, infected plants should be removed from the landscape asap.  Fallen infected leaves should be collected ideally by vacuum and all material should be disposed of in a landfill.  The spores remain viable on infected leaves and soil for 5 years preventing the use of new Boxwood as replacement plant material. Prevention may be possible by applying fungicide to all leaves and twigs on a consistent schedule.  The times of fungal activity (spring and fall) which is difficult considering Boxwoods natural leaf/twig density.

How to take care of a Boxwood shrub to help reduce likelihood of fungal infection include:

  • Eliminate overhead watering sprinkler heads, converting to drip irrigation only where necessary.
  • Reduce supplemental irrigation to only during times of atypical drought.
  • Clearing excess debris from plant base to improve air circulation.
  • Pruning out dead parts of plant, pruning to lightly elevating plant canopy from ground and pruning to lightly thin canopy to improve air circulation.
  • Sanitize pruning tools prior to pruning and between plants.

For more information on battling Boxwood Blight, Contact Northeastern Tree Care or call 1-888-439-TREE today!