Gypsy Moth Caterpillars Meet the Zombie Apocalypse
A Gypsy Moth Caterpillar
Massachusetts – and maybe other states – started off this year’s growing season with a horrible infestation of Gypsy Moth caterpillars. By June they had covered the leaves of many of my fruit trees. Some friends even claimed to hear them chewing, which is bad enough in a human but completely disgusting in a bug.
Infestation in Full Effect
I don’t usually spray, but this year I went to my local coop and found some organic stuff to use. However, it turned out to be unnecessary. The spray called for one application every 7 days, but at the end of what would have been the 2nd week I was met with what looked like the caterpillar apocalypse. It was a bizarre sight—hundreds of dead caterpillars, not only on the trees I sprayed, but all over the place. It turned out they had fallen victim to something called Entomophaga Maimaiga Fungus, or Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus. As a result, I didn’t get to find out how effective the spray was, but I didn’t mind.
They were gone.
What bugs are you battling this year? Have any of you been spraying or considering adding homes to encourage beneficial bugs, birds or bats? Something like our Garrett Wade Bat Box? What bugs are you battling this year? Have any of you been spraying or considering adding homes to encourage beneficial bugs, birds or bats? Something like our Garrett Wade Bat Box?
We welcome your thoughts and, as always, we are here for your questions. Hope your growing season is going great!