If egg masses or aggregations of young caterpillars are discovered, the effected leaves or branches can be pruned out. Make sure not to forget to spray the underside of leaves as these can be where Tussock Moth Caterpillars hide out of view.

Photograph by Jim Eckert via Bugguide, used with permission. See All Pest, Disease and Weed Identification, See All Beer, Hard Cider, and Distilled Spirits, See All Community Planning and Engagement. After inspecting the areas where you have discovered the Tussock Moth, you can move forward with treatment. There are several chemical tussock moth control options which are effective in killing larvae. Both Bt and spinosad are organic insecticides that are derived from bacteria. When control measures are necessary, tussock moth larvae are generally controlled by applications recommended for control of other larvae, especially forest tent caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria Hübner (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae), and gypsy moth (with which whitemarked tussock moth commonly co-occurs) (Hall and Buss 2014, Isaacs and van Timmeren 2012, Louisiana Insect Pest … Antihistamines and topical steroids may be needed to treat localized itching and swelling. Beware of the caterpillar: Anaphylaxis to the spotted tussock moth caterpillar, Lophocampa maculata. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Spray your whole lawn starting from the back to the front. After inspecting the areas where you have discovered the Tussock Moth, you can move forward with treatment. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Reclaim IT has a residual effect that can last up to 90 days so it can help to fend off caterpillars during their active seasons. It also has a long residual effect that can continue to control pests for up to 90 days after application. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. The best method for controlling Tussock Moths is via chemical control.
While caterpillars are most often encountered during the fall, the cocoons are may be found year-round; after the adult moths emerge in the spring, the cocoons remain behind and gradually deteriorate depending on how exposed they are such that some may continue to be present throughout the summer. Photograph by Karl Hillig via Bugguide, used with permission. Birds also eat the caterpillars during early stages, but hair growth begins to offer them some protection later in the season. Eggs are laid on the underside of leaves in clusters of up to 100 or more. 2010. In general, tussock moth populations rarely have outbreaks for more than a couple of years. Adult moths fly May–June and caterpillars are present July–September. You're looking for adult Tussock moths, the Tussock Moth caterpillars and any signs of their presence such as leaf and plant damage. Mix the product in a hand-pump sprayer and spray Reclaim IT over your entire yard and garden via fan spray to get nice uniform coverage. Other hosts include ash, elm, oak, willow, and maple, but they can likely feed on most hardwood deciduous trees. America Journal of Otolaryngology, 31: 123–126. The caterpillar is notorious for defoliating entire small trees and shrubs when there is no intervention. A damaging species of moth that is usually known for being a forest problem, the Tussock Moth is increasing its profile on residential landscapes and gardens. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. In addition to destroying trees, the tussock moth caterpillar hairs can cause an irritating and painful rash in humans that are exposed to them. Adult Tussock Moths look similar to other species of moths with dull, dark gray and brown patterned wings, hairy legs and tiny antennae. If you have a large yard, it may be better to use a hose-end sprayer. While most patients need only minimal supportive care and recover spontaneously within 48 hours, care should be taken given the potential risk of complications. A nuclear polyhedrosis virus disease, known as the “wilt disease”, also can be an important mortality agent during outbreaks. Exposure to hickory tussock moth caterpillar hairs generally results in a localized rash and associated itching. One study from southwestern Pennsylvania found that children accounted for 80% of all exposures and that the majority of all exposures were dermal (on the skin). Photograph by Delise and Matthew Priebe via Bugguide, used with permission. Lotts, Kelly and Thomas Naberhaus, coordinators.

LEARN HOW TO STOP THE INVASIVE SPOTTED LANTERNFLY, Coronavirus: Information and resources for the Extension Community. Photograph by Charley Eiseman via Bugguide, used under a CC BY-ND-NC 1.0 license. of Reclaim IT with a gallon of water will treat 1,000 square feet. When outbreaks do occur, the majority of defoliation occurs late in the season just a few weeks before trees naturally drop their leaves, so the caterpillars do not generally cause long-term damage to the affected tree. Tussock Moths appear in large numbers in the spring and summer months and can grow up to an inch and a half long. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Tussock moths feed relentlessly for a period between four to six weeks and then develop cocoons and emerge as adults in the summer. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website.
Allergic reactions to the hairs have not been associated with hickory tussock moths; however, a 5-year-old boy suffered an allergic reaction after exposure to the related spotted tussock moth (Lophocampa maculata) so allergic reactions may be possible. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 19(5): 396–398.

Tussock moths are easy to identify. They produce bright tufts of hair as they grow. B. Keiper, A. W. Jones, & J. E. Arnold. Douglas fir tussock moth caterpillars have a lot of natural predators in Colorado. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. The hairs are used for defense and may irritate the skin of sensitive individuals. Because hickory tussock moths are a native species, they are usually controlled by a host of natural enemies. The moth is dull-colored as an adult, but its hairy caterpillar phase of development is known for defoliating small trees and shrubs if left unchecked. Entering your postal code will help us provide news or event updates for your area. Mature caterpillar spinning a cocoon. They develop brown hair patches and red spots with an orange stripe on each side at maturity. Follow this guide and use the recommended products and we guarantee 100% control of Tussock Moth Caterpillars.

Finally, Reclaim IT Insecticide quarterly to prevent potential reinvasion. If you spot any pupation cocoons, remove them with the help of tweezers. The caterpillars begin feeding on new foliage near the top of the trees. The Tussock moth caterpillar (Orgyia psuedotsugata) eat the needles of spruce, Douglas fir, and true fir trees. Outbreaks of Douglas-fir tussock moth are cyclical due to effects of several natural controls. Step 1 - Apply Reclaim IT Insecticide To Yard and Ornamentals. Sign up for our newsletter today! Calculate the square footage (length x width (in feet) = square footage) of your lawn to determine how much Reclaim IT you need to cover the entire area. Bt is very selective in what it affects (the subspecies Bt kurstaki affects only caterpillars), so is safe to use around pollinators and other beneficial insects. If many young caterpillars are found on smaller (generally <15' tall) trees, a product containing Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) or spinosad can be applied. It also has a long residual effect that can continue to control pests for up to 90 days after application. At least seven species of parasitic wasps and a tachinid fly have been identified as parasites that are locally present. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience.

Accessed 30 August 2019. Photograph by Marjorie Melnick via Bugguide, used with permission. Biological tussock moth control includes several species of parasitic wasp and tachinid fly that work as parasites on the larvae. 0.125 to .25. Ingestion of the hairs may additionally elicit associated drooling, irritability, and anorexia. 2001. Butterflies and Moths of North America. Photo by Kurt Andreas, used with permission. Newly hatched first instar caterpillars. Spiders are one of the most effective predators, feeding on large populations of the caterpillar. Hickory, walnuts, pecan, and American hornbeam are preferred hosts. Why do we need this? Get all the latest information on Solutions products,deals, and events. You will want to use enough water to evenly treat the area -- up to 10 gallons. This page is a general Tussock Moth Caterpillar control guide. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. Caterpillars have also been recorded on hops, Virginia creeper, raspberry, rose, sumac, and blueberry. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser.

Hickory tussock moth. Adult moths are attracted to lights at night. Tree tops can often be completely destroyed after a single season. In addition to other natural tussock moth controls, the weather can also reduce Douglas fir tussock moth populations. But again, by the time older caterpillars are present, it is unlikely that their feeding will damage the long-term health of the affected tree so control is rarely warranted. Hickory tussock moths have one generation per year.