Originally brought to the U.S. in the late 1800s to see if they could be used to produce silk, they quickly escaped into the wild.
They are now found throughout the United States.
Within a hundred years, gypsy moths have spread and become permanent members of most northeastern forests. The caterpillars strip the leaves off of more than a million acres of trees every year. The adult moths lay 500-1,000 eggs in an egg mass, which will hatch in the spring when the trees are just starting to bud. Gypsy moths do not live in a web like the eastern tent caterpillar or webworms, but may swarm on the trunk of a tree. The caterpillars can be identified by 6 rows of red dots.
Scrape eggs into soapy water and place a sticky band around tree trucks to stop caterpillars from getting up trees.