Become a super-predator–put up burlap collection bands

Spongy moth (Lymantria dispar) caterpillars will make their presence known this month! Starting in June, caterpillars will leave the canopy of trees during the day to hide in crevices on the trunks of trees, the sides of buildings and even on outdoor furniture or play equipment. They return to the canopy each evening (or on a very cloudy day) to eat leaves all night.

You can take advantage of this behavior to reduce the number of caterpillars on your landscape trees by putting up burlap collection bands and turning yourself into a super-predator. Caterpillars find the burlap band an attractive hiding spot and will congregate there each afternoon. You can collect the caterpillars from under the bands, scrape them into a cup of soapy water which kills them, or just snip them in half. Directions on how to make a burlap collection band.  For a list of potential burlap suppliers, please visit the links page.

Insecticides may also be used to help control spongy moth caterpillars at this time of year.

Photo Credit: Bill McNee, WI DNR