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Gypsy Moth
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Gypsy Moth

Order: Lepidoptera

Family: Lymantriidae

Pest Status: Gypsy moths have killed thousands of acres of hardwood forests throughout the Northeast and into the Midwest.

Appearance: Gypsy moths have wings with variable patterns or black spots and bands. Male have brown functional wings and feathery antennae. Females are cream-colored, have thread-like antennae and cannot fly.

Life Cycle: Caterpillars prefer oaks, but may feed on several hundred different species of trees. Female moths lay egg masses indiscriminately on trees, houses, and other structures in late summer. Often campers unknowingly spread this pest when egg masses are attached to recreational vehicles. Gypsy moths survive the winter in the egg stage and hatch in the spring when temperatures are above 60oF. Eggs are laid in mid- to late-summer.

Where to Collect: Gypsy moths are easily found in infested forests.