As the warmup continues across New York State during Spring, you might notice that there is something weird in your trees.

Have you noticed white spongy blobs in your tree? What are they? Can they be harmful? The answer is

Those white blobs are actually eggs and larvae of the spongy moth otherwise known as the gypsy moth.

The eggs and larvae pose no threat to you but when they hatch, the moths can cause some serious leaf damage to your tree.

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According to the DEC in New York, there was a massive outbreak of the moth last summer that caused some major leaf damage across central and Western New York.

In the summer of 2021, elevated populations of spongy moth caterpillars caused noticeable leaf damage across New York State. Populations were especially high in Clinton, Warren, Saratoga, Monroe, Livingston, Ontario, Seneca, Yates, and Orleans counties.

If you want to help prevent another outbreak this summer there are some things you can do to get rid of the eggs and larvae from your trees. You can destroy them by scraping them off into hot, soapy water in a bucket.

If the eggs hatch, the caterpillars are known to eat young, tender leaves in the spring. The trees that lose their leaves each fall are able to regrow a new set of leaves by July and can usually withstand 2-3 successive years of defoliation without being killed. If you noticed a lack of leafs last year on your tree, you should double-check your tree for eggs and larvae this Spring.

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