Updated: Jan 3, 2021
This spring was absolutely crazy with gypsy moth caterpillars! I often will have tent caterpillars but these were another type all together. What I didn't realize at the time was that they were defoliating many of the trees. I have a weeping Pussy Willow near my back door and it didn't have a leaf on it. So these caterpillars were eating their way across the area. Two of my good friends were literally pulling them off the trees by the thousands every day to try and save their trees. I did not do this. I don't think I would've had the patience. The next stage of the gypsy moth caterpillar was to pupa and then become a moth. This is where I started to do my research. The male moth is brown and the female is white. The female doesn't fly. It stays on a tree until the male comes and they do their business. Once the eggs are on the tree (upwards of 500 eggs) the male and female die. Every time I go for a walk on my property I take a stick and kill the female moth and brush the egg sacks off of the tree. I even bought a male gypsy moth attractant that ultimately kills them. I have it hanging in a tree and it has something in it that attracts and kills them. This attractant is supposed to last for 10 weeks. I will post some photos here so you can see what the egg sacks look like because this is what will be left on the trees and next year could be just as bad if we don't do our part. The defoliation is stressful for the trees and could kill them if it happens too many times in a row. Some trees like my weeping pussy willow did grow new leaves but now it looks totally stressed. They've all curled up. When you are looking at your trees will be found mainly from eye level down to the bottom. At least that is what I've noticed. Now get out there and kill the egg sacks you have in your trees!
The light brown powdery stuff you see is the egg sack and this is what is left when the female dies. I brush this off the trees when I'm walking using a stick.
There is also a photo of the brown male gypsy moth and the "attractant" container I bought hanging in the tree and with gypsy moths in it.