Fungus kills Gypsy Moth caterpillars but moths may still be a problem

LEDYARD, Conn (WTNH) — News 8 returned to a Long Cove Road home two weeks after crawling Gypsy Moth caterpillars covered the house and garage door. Now those caterpillars and thousands of others covering the entire trunk of a nearby tree from bottom to top have been stopped dead in their tracks.

The fungus created by the May rains killed them as they entered adulthood.

Related Content: Fungus bringing Gypsy Moth caterpillar outbreak to an end

dead gypsy moth caterpillars 1 Fungus kills Gypsy Moth caterpillars but moths may still be a problem
(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

“All of a sudden they weren’t moving. You looked and they started to fold,” said homeowner Tony Sabilia.

He was happy to see something stop this year’s infestation.

“It was nasty especially after it rained,” said Sabilia. “It ended up actually being like a coating of slime on everything.”

But not all the caterpillars were killed before cocooning. Some will soon emerge as moths.

Related Content: Ledyard neighbors hope rain will help stop Gypsy Moth infestation

bug zapper 1 Fungus kills Gypsy Moth caterpillars but moths may still be a problem
(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

“They’re definitely moths around,” said Sabilia. “So they’re starting to appear.”

“The females do not fly. They attach to the tree. The males do fly,” Naomi Rodriguez told News 8 last month. She chairs Ledyard’s Ad Hoc Committee tackling the Gypsy Moth problem.

She suggests you destroy the cocoons and get a bug zapper to kill the males before they mate with the females and keep the infestation alive.

“That would help yes,” said Wayne Henson who works at Holdridge Home & Garden Showplace which sells bug zappers. “There are also in the works some traps that are using the pheromones that’s created by the moth to attract that male moth into those traps. We haven’t gotten it yet but we’re working on it.”

Rodriguez says one female moth can lay thousands of eggs.

She suggests you scrape off any egg sacks you see. They are small light tan colored clumps on tree trunks and other surfaces.

Once removed they can be submerged in soapy water to kill the eggs.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s