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How to Get Rid of Outdoor Gypsy Moths

Gypsy moths are among the most destructive outdoor pests, defoliating trees in a 1200 mile path through North America. Here’s how to banish them.


  • : Follow label instructions when using pesticides.
  • Step 1: Eliminate weeds and debris Eliminate weeds and debris so outdoor areas don’t become breeding grounds for moths.
  • Step 2: Apply pheromone strips Apply pheromone strips or burlap bands to tree trunks to lure and trap moth larvae. This will also detect the location of infestation.
  • TIP: Pesticides are effective against gypsy moths only at their larvae stage. There is no preventive treatment for gypsy caterpillars.
  • Step 3: Remove gypsy moth eggs Remove hard-to-reach gypsy moth eggs by scraping them from cracks and crannies in the tree trunk or under loose bark with a putty knife or tweezers. Wear gloves to prevent a skin rash.
  • TIP: Gypsy moths hatch from early May through mid-July. This is the ideal time to eradicate the larvae.
  • Step 4: Place live eggs in toxic solution Place live gypsy moth eggs in a mixture of water and corn or soybean oil to kill them.
  • FACT: Moths are not attracted to light. They navigate by the sun and moon and are disoriented by artificial light.

You Will Need

  • Pheromone strips or burlap bands
  • A putty knife or tweezers
  • Gloves
  • Corn or soybean oil

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