Gypsy Moth

Characteristics of Gypsy MothsGypsy Moths are one of the most destructive forest and landscape pests in the United States. While oak trees are the most vulnerable, these moths feed on up to 500 other species of trees and shrubs. The Gypsy Moths are most destructive in May and June when the caterpillars feed on leaves. Trees throughout entire neighborhoods can be stripped of their leaves in a matter of a few months and surviving trees are left weakened and susceptible to other pests and diseases.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Village of Woodridge and Woodridge Park District have previously completed gypsy moth spraying in various areas of the community to try and slow the spread of the gypsy moth.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture has advised that higher than normal amounts of precipitation can resulted in elevated levels of a naturally occurring bacteria which is poisonous to the gypsy moth, thus killing them off.

DetectionResidents should be on the lookout for gypsy moth caterpillars, which have distinctive markings consisting of five pairs of blue dots followed by six pairs of red dots down the length of its back or the moth which is a light brown.

gypsy moth  gypsy moth eggs
(pictures from University of Illinois Extension)

Because of the weight of their eggs, female gypsy moths cannot fly. They typically lay eggs on objects near the trees where they’re feeding, including picnic tables, campers, and grills. When these items are moved, the moth eggs “hitchhike” along. For this reason, it’s extremely important to check all vehicles and equipment after camping in infested areas. Refraining from transporting firewood from outside the local area is also key in stopping the spread of the gypsy moth and other destructive pests like the Emerald Ash Borer, and the Asian Long Horned Beetle.

Additional InformationFor more information on the Gypsy Moth, recognizing infected trees, and stopping the spread of this devastating pest, please pick up a copy of the Gypsy Moth in Illinois in the Public Works Lobby at 1 Plaza Drive. If an active gypsy moth infestation is suspected, or if dead gypsy moth caterpillars are found, residents should contact the Public Works Department at 630-719-4753 or the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Gypsy Moth Hotline at 866-296-6684.

View additional information from University of Illinois Extension at Gypsy Moth and the BTK treatment.