Gypsy Moths – Not in Georgia

Q: I think I have an infestation of gypsy moth caterpillars in a large tree whose branches hang high over my covered porch. Dropping pellets sound like it is raining all day long on the roof.

A: You certainly have caterpillars in your trees but they are probably not gypsy moth caterpillars. The Georgia Forestry Service diligently observes trees in north Georgia each year looking for small infestations. If they find one, they use traps and sprays to eliminate it before it can grow larger.

It’s far more likely you have orangestriped oakworms or contracted dantana moth caterpillars. Both of them feed voraciously in fall but really don’t damage trees enough to worry about controlling them.

Oak Tree Caterpillars

Forest health-Gypsy Moth