Spongy (Gypsy) Moth News from the STAC

As many have undoubtedly noticed, the Village and surrounding area is suffering from the second year of spongy moth infestation. The evidence is all around us. The caterpillar stage of this moth (picutred below) eats tree leaves and has effectively defoliated several large trees - the most visible examples being the red oaks in front of the school and fairgrounds. The good news is that most of these trees will likely recover over the coming months and years. Even better, as moth populations increase, naturally occurring viral and bacterial threats also establish themselves and act together as a natural control on moth populations.

While these controls ensure that the overall forest ecosystem of our village and broader community is protected to a large degree, in an effort to curb the more acute symptoms of infestation in the Village and to reduce the magnitude of infection in the coming years, the STAC is making two spongy moth control devices available to Village residents. The first is a tape that can be applied to tree trunks and prevents new or increased infestations of specific trees. The second is a pheromone trap that will help reduce breeding populations. Both products are available and can be installed for you upon request (please email Michael Ullberg [email protected]). Similar products can also be purchased through local or online retailers for use by homeowners.

Unfortunately, the spongy moth is only one of several tree pests that threaten Village trees. Please do your best to look for dangerous trees or trees that appear to be infested with the emerald ash borer or hemlock wooly adelgid. If you have questions or concerns regarding tree safety, health, or a possible infestation, contact a local tree service or STAC chair Ben Carver for an assessment (you can call/text Ben at 607-592-5599).

The Spongy Moth Caterpillar