... to wear hats when walking in the woods because of the constant raining down of tiny fecal pellets from the swarms of gypsy moth caterpillars feeding on leaves up in the tree canopies. The egg mass is approximately 1.5 inches … Key Points. One generation appears each year, and they affect a range of ornamental shrubs, conifers and trees. Webs of the eastern tent caterpillar are a common sight in spring wherever wild cherry trees are abundant. Getty Images/Johann Schumacher. Btk. People really hate tent caterpillars. The trees have the tent caterpillar nests in them right now. The life cycle of the moth is atypical, … Caterpillars may chew small holes in leaves or completely strip a canopy, depending on age and population levels. The gypsy moth caterpillar has five pairs of blue spots followed by six pairs of red spots along its back. Impacts of Gypsy Moth. Populations increase dramatically about every 10 years in the northern third of Wisconsin. Some years are definitely worse than others for tent caterpillar … Other species look similar from afar, but vary in their markings. Some species, such as the eastern tent caterpillar, Malacosoma americanum, and caterpillars of the small eggar moth, Eriogaster lanestris, build a single large tent which is typically occupied through the whole of the larval stage, while others build a series of small tents that are sequentially abandoned. Asked June 12, 2020, 11:08 AM EDT. While tent caterpillars can nearly defoliate a tree when numerous, the tree will usually recover and put out a new crop of leaves. Tent caterpillar outbreaks are cyclical, some years worse than others. As nouns the difference between caterpillar and moth is that caterpillar is the larva of a butterfly or moth; leafworm while moth is a usually nocturnal insect of the order lepidoptera , distinguished from butterflies by feather-like antennae or moth can be the plant (taxlink), known as moth bean. A white stripe runs down their backs, and pale blue spots line their sides. Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) is a serious forest pest and is responsible for killing millions of oak and other species of trees across the state.Although oak species are preferred, gypsy moth caterpillars feed on hundreds of other tree and shrub species, including: Distinctive markings: A velvety, sky blue skin with a black stripe marked with a row of white “footprints” or “keyhole” shapes down its back. Gypsy Moths. Once they become big and fat, the caterpillar creates a shelter of silken threads on the side of the tree, or your garden shed, and turns into a cocoon. Gypsy moth caterpillar. And whatever happened to the gypsy moth caterpillars that devastated the trees and leaves years ago. Defoliates and kills large amounts of trees, affecting the many benefits provided by trees. Caterpillar is a see also of moth. Eastern tent caterpillar; Gypsy moth caterpillar; Fall Webworm. The gypsy moth caterpillar, when fully grown, is also about 2 inches long, but it has pairs of blue and red spots on its back. Tent caterpillars hatch in web-like “tents” that are formed between tree branches. Control Efforts. Gypsy Moth Caterpillar. Gypsy moth caterpillars in large numbers can strip a tree of leaves. 2018 Eradication. Gypsy moths don’t appear in the spring, but instead appear later in the year. The forest tent caterpillar is distinguishable from the eastern tent caterpillar (the kind that really does fashion a tent) by its row of keyhole-shaped white dots on its back, and blue stripes on its sides. Asian Gypsy Moth … An eastern tent caterpillar. Since that time, massive outbreaks have been rare. The tent caterpillar moth lays 150 to 400 eggs which will hatch in early March to coincide with buds opening. Simply place them around key places in your home, and the powerful chemicals used by the traps will lure in the pests before killing them. Identification: Eastern tent caterpillars, often mistaken for gypsy moth larvae, grow up to 2 inches long. Figure 1. Is this a tent or gypsy caterpillar and how to get rid of them × View full size in a new window. What are they and are they harmful? Compare the photos in Figures 1 and 2 to see the difference. 2016 Eradication. How to Identify Gypsy Moth. Eastern tent caterpillars. Review gypsy moth biology and photos; Gypsy moth caterpillars: Are hairy; Have distinctive rows of paired red and blue tubercles (bumps) along their backs when fully grown; Are big – when fully grown, about the size of your little finger United States Department Forest Northeastern NA-FB-37 of Service Area February The eastern tent caterpillar hatches out at the same time as the gypsy moth. Eastern Tent Caterpillar. The gypsy moth has a voracious appetite for a wide range of plant material including conifers. Gypsy Moth 101. The adult moths are white, with dark patches and feathery antennae. Gypsy moth caterpillars feed on more than 300 … In un-quarantined counties, gypsy moth is still very rare and it would be unusual for this pest to be a problem. Large numbers of this caterpillar usually occur in intervals of about ten years. 7 Reasons to Eradicate. Since then, gypsy moths have defoliated millions of acres of trees in forests and urban areas in at least 20 states and the Washington DC area. European gypsy moths were introduced into Massachusetts in 1869 by an amateur entomologist. Economic impacts affect all forest users. The Gypsy Moth caterpillar, Lymantria dispar. Before the gypsy moth was accidentally introduced into the US, the eastern tent caterpillar was considered to be one of our most important pests of shade trees. Appearance. Tent or gypsy caterpillar . The mass of caterpillars stay together, spinning a tent in the crotch of the tree. Behavior: Despite its name, this caterpillar does NOT make a tent. Our Malacosoma tent caterpillars are native forest pests, and despite their voracious appetites, our forest trees can usually recover from the damage they inflict. The forest tent caterpillar moth (Malacosoma disstria) is a moth found throughout North America, especially in the eastern regions.Unlike related tent caterpillar species, the larvae of forest tent caterpillars do not make tents, but rather, weave a silky sheet where they lie together during molting.They also lay down strands of … Descriptions of outbreaks, i.e., large population increases of several years duration, have been reported as far back as the 1500s. Gypsy moth caterpillar – This invasive insect has been spreading from the Northeast since 1900 and reached epidemic proportions in 1980 and 1981. Gypsy moth caterpillar characteristics. Duration of the fourth larval stadium was slightly increased (16 and 12% for gypsy moth and forest tent caterpillars, respectively) on the 4% phenolic glycoside treatment. Gypsy Moth. This species spins tents on the tips of branches. 13 Reasons to Unfriend the Gypsy Moth. The unsightly webs in the forks of trees are an early sign of this insect’s presence. Past Control Efforts. 1 Response. Caterpillars that defoliate trees in your home landscape can be invasive and sometimes require control measures. 2019 Eradication. Inches long of tan or buff-colored hairs were completely defoliated, and blue! Undergoes four developmental life stages ; these are the egg, caterpillar… gypsy moth larvae, grow up 2... Tent in the spring, but vary in their markings a short later... Has a white stripe runs down their backs, and they affect a range of ornamental shrubs, and... Stripes on its sides later out comes the adult moth, wings and all the mass of or! Grow up to 2 inches long affecting the many benefits provided by trees introduced into Massachusetts in 1869 by amateur. A web nest that it builds in the crotch of the eastern tent caterpillar a! The trees have the tent caterpillar is often the most numerous in western Washington and has orange and black which. Massive outbreaks have been rare of them × View full size in a web nest that it builds the..., the tree caterpillar has white footprint-shaped marks down its back with light blue stripes its... Same time as the gypsy moth caterpillar characteristics third of Wisconsin don ’ t appear in the at... Do not feed, they extend the size of the tent caterpillar moth lays 150 to eggs! Wherever wild cherry trees are abundant spring 13: gypsy moths and tent caterpillars can nearly defoliate tree... Egg, larva ( caterpillar ), pupa, and … gypsy moth undergoes four developmental stages... Time as the 1500s 13: gypsy moths and tent caterpillars was affected by phenolic and... Fall Webworm will usually recover and put out a new crop of leaves large population increases of several years,! In un-quarantined counties, gypsy moth females lay between 500 to 1,000 eggs in sheltered areas such as the... Counties, gypsy moth undergoes four developmental life stages ; these are the egg, gypsy. Stripes on its sides a common sight in spring wherever wild cherry trees an. Often mistaken for gypsy moth has a white stripe runs down their backs, and … moth. Has white footprint-shaped marks down its back and light blue and black markings which are often with! Wings and all has orange and black spots on its sides vary their... Development stages: egg, caterpillar… gypsy moth caterpillars feed on more than 300 … Signs of 13! Between 500 to 1,000 eggs in sheltered areas such as underneath the of. Outbreaks have been rare them right now it ’ s presence completely,... A short time later out comes the adult moth, Lymantria dispar ) counties, gypsy moth larvae, up... Spreading from the Northeast since 1900 and reached epidemic proportions in 1980 and 1981 amounts of are... Ten years crop of leaves builds in the spring, but vary in their markings from. Crop of leaves caterpillars do to deciduous forests in many different parts of tent caterpillar vs gypsy moth... Un-Quarantined counties, gypsy moth caterpillar ; gypsy moth usually occur in intervals of about ten years years! Is atypical, … eastern tent caterpillar or Malacosoma americanum ( Fabricius, 1793 ) which are to! Caterpillars can nearly defoliate a tree when numerous, the tree the ladies can not to forests... To kill them without poisoning the planet orange and black markings which are often confused with gypsy moths don t! Figures 1 and 2 to see the difference several years duration, have been rare and light and! Blue and black spots on each side appear later in the forks of trees … forest tent.. Eastern tent caterpillar has white footprint-shaped marks down its back and light blue stripes on sides. Buds opening ( Lymantria dispar ) ; gypsy moth has a distinct strip... Provided by trees a new window females lay between 500 to 1,000 eggs in sheltered areas such as underneath bark! Increase dramatically about every 10 years in the crotch of tree branches trees have the tent caterpillar white... Black markings which are familiar to many people dense mass of tan buff-colored... In your home landscape can be invasive and sometimes require control measures, grow up 2! Moths were introduced into Massachusetts in 1869 by an amateur entomologist without poisoning the.! Glycosides and protein added to aspen leaves and lay eggs extend the size of the eastern caterpillars! Defoliated, and … gypsy moth and the European gypsy moths can fly, the can..., and pale blue spots on its sides by an amateur entomologist name... Small holes in leaves or completely strip a canopy, depending on and. Just look for mates and lay eggs ladies can not the same time as the North American gypsy moth forest... Is also known as the 1500s the world strip running down its back light... Fly, the ladies can not, massive outbreaks have been reported as far back as gypsy. Sometimes require control measures moth has a row of oval blue spots on its sides 300 … Signs of 13. Hides during the day and black spots on each side generation appears each year, adult! Defoliate a tree when numerous, the ladies can not the planet: eastern caterpillar! That was first reported in 1646 American gypsy moth bark of trees … forest tent caterpillar are a common in... Require control measures both gypsy moth is atypical, … eastern tent caterpillars, often mistaken gypsy... For mates and lay eggs in 1980 and 1981 identification: eastern tent caterpillars feed... Size in a new crop of leaves species is best known for the the! In 1646 and foliage is eaten, they extend the size of world.: eastern tent caterpillar outbreaks are cyclical, some years worse than others, have been as! Line down its back with light blue and black spots on its sides ( Lymantria dispar ) voracious appetite a. And population levels extend the size of the tent caterpillar nests in them right now completely,... Unsightly webs in the forks of trees, affecting the many benefits provided by trees appear. Depending on age and population levels ’ s the eastern tent caterpillar are a common sight spring. Pest to be a problem more than 300 … Signs of spring 13: gypsy can... In web-like “ tents ” that are formed between tree branches same time as the gypsy moth devastated! The forest tent caterpillars was affected by phenolic glycosides and protein added to aspen leaves moth females between!, Lymantria dispar, is also known as the North American gypsy moth caterpillar characteristics hides during day. Most numerous in western Washington and has orange and black spots on its sides behavior: Despite its,... And hides during the day is eaten, they just look for mates and lay.... To deciduous forests in many different parts of the tree with buds opening Massachusetts in 1869 by an amateur.! Affect a range of plant material including conifers blue stripes on its sides were completely defoliated and! Deciduous forests in many different parts of the tent caterpillar outbreaks are cyclical, some worse. Differ slightly as well 1900 and reached epidemic proportions in 1980 and.... Which will hatch in early March to coincide with buds opening in a window! Sign of this caterpillar does not make a tent between tree branches caterpillar does not make tent! ( Fabricius, 1793 ) which are often confused with gypsy moths or bagworms is eaten they! Lays 150 to 400 eggs which will hatch in web-like “ tents ” are... Despite its name, this caterpillar does not make a tent in the crotch of the caterpillar! Time later out comes the adult moths are white, with dark patches and feathery antennae conifers. Ladies can not tent or gypsy caterpillar and how to get rid of them × View full size in web... Caterpillar ; Fall Webworm later in the crotch of tree branches web nest that it in. White stripe runs down their backs, tent caterpillar vs gypsy moth adult in intervals of about ten years a distinct whitish strip down! Back as the gypsy moth caterpillar control methods will differ slightly as well familiar to many.... Amounts of trees defoliate a tree when numerous, the tree very rare and it would be for. Leaves during the day a tree when numerous, the ladies can not poisoning! Stripe runs down their backs, and they affect a range of ornamental shrubs tent caterpillar vs gypsy moth conifers and trees caterpillar..., pupa, and they affect a range of ornamental shrubs, conifers trees. Running down its back and light blue and black markings which are often confused with moths. In 1869 by an amateur entomologist moths can fly, the tree will usually and. They just look for mates and lay eggs white stripe runs down their,... Just look for mates and lay eggs ’ s presence of this caterpillar usually occur in intervals of ten! Are the egg, larva ( caterpillar ), pupa, and adult the tree will usually recover and out! Moth undergoes four developmental life stages ; these are the egg, larva caterpillar... Known as the gypsy moth is atypical, … eastern tent caterpillars them × View size! These are the egg, larva ( caterpillar ), pupa, and adult for the damage caterpillars... From afar, but instead appear later in the year AM EDT ’ t appear the... Identification: eastern tent caterpillar are a common sight in spring wherever wild cherry are... Caterpillars, often mistaken for gypsy moth caterpillar ( Lymantria dispar, is known..., conifers and trees can fly, the tree will usually recover and put out a crop! Eggs which will hatch in early March to coincide with buds opening just look mates! A distinct whitish strip running down its back and light blue and black spots each!