Gypsy Moth Infestations

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The city of Toledo will be applying to the Ohio Department of Agriculture Gypsy Moth Program for consideration to treat three areas for gypsy moth infestations within the city. If the areas meet the qualifications, the treatment will be made next spring. The identified infested areas in the city are the Ottawa Park area, Kenwood, Douglas, and Bancroft; the Copland Park area in south Toledo; and the vicinity of Alexis and Everwood. Several other areas near Toledo have also been identified to have gypsy moth infestations.

“Through a combination of inspections and calls from concerned citizens, gypsy moth infestations have been identified in several locations throughout Toledo,” said Karen Ranney Wolkins, Toledo’s Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commissioner. “Gone untreated, the impact to our urban forest can be devastating. The gypsy moth is a non-native caterpillar that feeds on the leaves of oaks and more than 300 species of plants including evergreens like spruce trees. Populations of this furious leaf feeder are on the rise in northwest Ohio, especially in the greater Toledo area.”City officials are working closely with The Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

"Amy Stone, OSU Extension Educator, and Dave Adkins, Gypsy Moth Program Coordinator with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, spent time surveying areas where we have received calls or referrals from residents who witnessed the insect damage this spring and have recently noticed the adult moth activity,” Ms. Ranney Wolkins said.

Gypsy moth caterpillars are hairy and have pairs of red and blue raised dots that run from the head to the end of the caterpillar and are typically active late April to early July. Male gypsy moths are brown and fly during the day in a zig zag pattern searching for a female. The female moths are white and do not fly. The female will lay egg masses that can contain up to 500 eggs. The moths do not feed and will not cause additional damage to the plants but can be a nuisance simply by their presence.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, offers suppression treatment for residents in quarantined counties. The application for the aerial treatment for next year's season is due Sept. 1, 2018. The OSU Extension would like to schedule programs across the greater Toledo area, especially in areas where gypsy moths have been found, to raise awareness and help residents coordinate monitoring and management efforts. If you have a block watch group or community group that would be interested in hosting such a program, please contact Amy Stone with OSU Extension at or 419-578-6783.

Additionally, if you have noticed gypsy moth caterpillars in an area not identified above, please contact The OSU Extension. Photos of caterpillars, adult moths or egg masses, can be emailed to or posted on the Lucas County Extension Facebook Page at: