Spongy moth (formerly known as gypsy moth) populations increased dramatically in 2022 causing many home and property owners concern about their trees. You may have noticed the spongy moth caterpillars crawling over everything last year, especially in May and June. These caterpillars have distinctive red and blue dots on their backs, long hairs, and are voracious eaters, eating the leaves of many trees. The caterpillars cause the most damage to trees and are the biggest nuisance to people. Come July, they form cocoons, pupate, turn into adult moths, lay eggs and die. Those eggs overwinter and soon enough, those caterpillars will be hatching again, to eat and eat and eat!
Learn more about spongy moths and what you should look for, and what to do if you have them, at the following website. You will also find additional resources and a recently recorded webinar sponsored by UW Extension Walworth County : https://go.wisc.edu/kz1yc1