Gypsy moths are highly destructive invasive pests that damage plants during their caterpillar stage. Newly hatched larvae are only 1/4 inch long, but male larvae grow up to 2 inches. Female gypsy moth larvae grow up to 3 inches long. Sometimes confused with tent caterpillars, the larvae have distinctive markings: five pairs of bright blue spots and six pairs of bright red spots run down their backs. Tufts of long hair appear from head to tail.

Adult female gypsy moths are furry-headed, cream-white moths with 2-inch wingspans. But unlike most moths, these females never fly. You'll typically find females on tree trunks, immediately above masses of brown eggs. Adult males are brown moths with wingspans of 1 1/2 inch. You'll often see these flying males close by females.




Gypsy moth larvae are heavy feeders that devour the foliage of hundreds of plant types, but trees are especially vulnerable to these pests. When gypsy moth larvae move into tree canopies, they can defoliate entire trees. Branches appear bare and autumn-like in summer.

As gypsy moth damage continues, remaining leaves drop. Tree branches begin to die back, and weakened trees may die. A dense layer of caterpillar droppings and leaf debris blankets the area below.


Effective gypsy moth control requires targeting these pests as larvae and adults. Early intervention stops newly hatched larvae from devastating trees by feeding and prevents adult moths from mating and laying new eggs. Amdro brand offers two highly effective options to kill adult gypsy moths and larvae to protect your trees and plants:

  • Amdro Quick Kill Outdoor Insect Killer Ready to Spray kills gypsy moths and caterpillars by contact. Then it keeps working for up to three months. Just attach the product to a regular garden hose and spray your plant surfaces to the point of runoff. The container automatically does the mixing and measuring for you.
  • Amdro Quick Kill Outdoor Insect Killer Concentrate, designed for use with a pump-style sprayer, comes with a convenient measuring cap to help ensure you get the right amount of concentrate for your needs. Dilute the product according to label instructions, then spray your lawn and landscape thoroughly. It kills gypsy moth larvae and adults by contact and keeps protecting for up to three months.


Remove gypsy moth egg masses during winter by scraping masses from tree trunks, but take care not to damage bark. Always destroy removed masses or eggs will survive and hatch in spring. For infestations in large trees, consult a tree professional for help.

Always read product labels and follow the instructions carefully.

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