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DNR Experts warn of bad spongy moth summer

The next two months could be the worst spongy moth caterpillar outbreak in more than a decade, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says. 

 

The spongy moth caterpillars, formerly known as gypsy moths, feed on oak, birch, crabapple, aspen, and willow leaves and can cause harm to high-value trees. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection will be setting over 10,000 traps for the spongy moths. The traps are small green boxes tied to tree branches and contain the scent of female spongy moths and are undetectable to humans and other insects. These boxes are used to attract and catch adult male spongy moths. 

 

Southern Wisconsin and parts of the north are already in a high-population outbreak that is predicted to continue and spread. 

 

Those who find spongy moth caterpillars should avoid touching them as the hairs often cause a skin rash, welt, or other irritation. Rubbing alcohol can help to remove the hairs and chemical irritants from the skin that is exposed to the hairs.

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