Some would think caterpillars and moths are friendly and do no harm... think again when it comes to the gypsy moth.

According to WOOD, West Michigan will see an increase in tree damage due to the increase in the number of gypsy moths.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that due to the large hatch last year, even more of the leaf-eating caterpillars have arrived this spring.

Barry, Ionia and Washtenaw counties have been hit the hardest but two of those counties are not far away so neighboring counties will see some damage also.

According to DNR experts, the gypsy moths look for trees that are old, suffering from drought and have root damage. The caterpillars eat the leaves and those are the solar panels for the trees. The trees usually don't die but they don't grow as well moving forward.

Most trees that are healthy can actually re-grow new leaves in July to replace those eating by the gypsy moths.
If you see any white masses at the base of your trees or branches, those are probably gypsy moth eggs and you will want to remove those.

Here is how you can tell what a gypsy moth caterpillar looks like, they are about 2 inches long and are hairy. There will be blue and dark red spots with a white line running down the back.

The male gypsy moths are dark in color and are able to fly while females are white and have dark wavy markings and are not able to fly.

If your trees are in good shape, a way to keep them from becoming a meal to a gypsy moth is to keep them watered and avoid any damage to their roots and bark. If there are any dead trees nearby, get them out of there.

There are a couple ways to get rid of the gypsy moth eggs and that is to scrape them from the tree and put them in water that has dish soap in it and leave them in there for two days. The other is wrapping your trees with duct tape so the caterpillars get stuck before they are able to slide up the tree.


More From 98.7 WFGR