Effectively combat spotted moth caterpillars

The spider caterpillars infest trees and shrubs

Effectively combat spotted moth caterpillars: moth

The gossamer moth will also called bud moth and belongs to the butterflies family. The insects owe their name to the webs, which can cover a whole tree. In the webs the caterpillars live and eventually pupate until they become a butterfly.

The cuddly moths are found on up to 50 plant families, Apple trees are especially popular, euonymus or Traubenkirschen served in the local garden. If an infestation fetsgestellt, it is important to act quickly, because the small caterpillars can lead to a complete Kalhfraß.

Learn more about the gypsy moths and how you can proactively protect your deciduous trees from infestation.

Life of the gypsy moths

Massive occurrence at longer intervals is typical of the Spider moth (Yponomeuta), The appearance is favored by long and warm dry periods in spring, until finally in May and June the leaves of some end and side shoots of deciduous trees or shrubs are covered with a dense white web.

In this web many caterpillars eat with black spots on the sides and a black head on the leaves. In case of heavy infestation it can come to a complete Kahlfraß the tree.

Effectively combat spotted moth caterpillars: combat

The caterpillars live in webs and feed on the foliage.

Which host plants in the field are covered with eggs, depends on the type of Gespinstmotte. In general, nine different but closely related species of Yponomeuta live in Western Europe, which are externally similar and obviously different only in their preferences for food sources:

Apple and pear trees, White willow, euonymus and the big fat herb are only a few trees, which are flown by the butterflies of the genus Yponomeuta.

However, depending on the species, the caterpillars only develop one to two generations per year. The small caterpillars migrate to the buds in April. Later, the leaf tissue is shaved down superficially.

The growing caterpillars finally join together in the middle of May and produce the large webs that can be observed between the branches. Even if the caterpillars eat the trees, the deciduous trees survive this attack unscathed and drive out in the following year again.

The butterflies of the webbed moths

Effectively combat spotted moth caterpillars: moth

The moth's wings are white with black dots. The females become 60 days old and the males die after copulation.

The pupation of the voracious caterpillars occurs in June within the webs in white, solid cocoons. From the cocoons finally hatch the little butterflies, with about two centimeters wingspan and a white-black-dotted color.

The moths fly after sunset from July to August, looking for ideal forage plants for their offspring. The females attract male moths with sexual pheromones and eventually lay their eggs on thin branches in clusters of up to 50 in the deciduous tree.

The egg shells are protected by a secretion layer, which hardens over time and turns dark.

The young larvae hatch in the autumn and overwinter under this protective layer before they migrate in the spring to the shoots, where they first feed on buds and with age by leaves. The leaf feeding occurs mainly in June, when the caterpillars are mature and the leaves are still young.

In large infestation, the entire tree or shrub is wrapped with a veil-like web and bald eaten - the cycle of Gespinstmotten begins again.

Fighting webbed moths

Effectively combat spotted moth caterpillars: combat

The caterpillars survive in fine webbing.

The problem with effective spider moth control is the fact that the pest is often only discovered when the caterpillars have already formed webs.

If the caterpillars are already busy eating and distributed over the entire plant, control with pesticides is difficult to impossible.

The most effective and safest countermeasure is then to remove the webs together with the caterpillars by collecting, cutting or spraying down with a hard jet of water.

In order to avoid that the removed caterpillars migrate back to the tree, it is advisable to them to collect on the ground and destroy. In addition, you can green glue rings as a mechanical barrier attached to the fruit trees to prevent a renewed caterpillar migration. Before winter rest The affected trees are cut back.

Attention: The cut waste does not belong to the compost but should be taken to the waste yard. When cutting, look for remaining eggs, these are usually found on the short shoots and thin branches.

Effectively combat spotted moth caterpillars: caterpillars

In heavy infestation, as here, the entire Pfaffenhütchen is wound.

At the time of hatching of the moths, special traps of pheromone attractants may be placed. The females look for food plants and fly into the trap, where they stick to tape and die.

In the spring you can use plant protection measures Use of plant protection products that protect be performed.

It is important that the injection must be repeated several times. Chemical pesticides are harmful to the environment and the fruits of the fruit trees.

If necessary, an application should be limited to smaller trees. Check the success of the spraying method regularly.

Tip: Which sprays are approved for garden use can be found in the plant protection product database of the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety.

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Video Board: How to get rid of gypsy moth caterpillars organically