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Data From Gypsy Moth Trapping Efforts Released

Saturday, December 4th, 2021 -- 7:11 AM

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture has released data from its gypsy moth trapping efforts for the past year.

The agency says 99,647 moths were caught in 2021 in just over 10,700 traps across the state. That's up from 83,720 from the year before and much higher than the 52,396 captured during 2019. "Wisconsin experienced far less rainfall than usual during the spring and early summer," said Michael Falk, DATCP's trapping coordinator. "These dry conditions limited the spread of diseases known to kill L. dispar caterpillars. As a result, more caterpillars survived to adulthood and populations increased for a second consecutive year." The state's trapping program helps keep track of the size and location of moth populations. This information helps determine potential sites for next year's aerial spray treatments. In 2021, DATCP treated about 88,977 acres across 14 counties across Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, Falk says anyone can help reduce the population of caterpillars next year by treating or removing egg masses. Such egg masses are tan, oval or bulb-shaped, and a little bigger than a quarter. It has a velvety texture and can hold 500 to 1,000 eggs; and can be found on trees, vehicles, fences, playground equipment, buildings, or any outdoor item. To remove an egg mass, use a putty knife, stiff brush, or similar hand tool and place the mass into warm, soapy water. Soak for a few days and then discard in the trash. You can also spray horticultural oil onto egg masses. Simply crushing an egg mass will not destroy it. (Wisconsin Ag Connection)

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