Gypsy moth is an exotic invasive species that we have had to deal with in Middleton. This insect prefers to munch on our Oak trees and has the potential to completely defoliate stands of trees when numbers are high. Middleton has taken part in the DNR suppression spray program in 2008, 2009, and 2010.
For in depth information regarding all things gypsy moth, we suggest going to the UW-Extension webpage
The effects of gypsy moth in Middleton has been generally confined to the center of Middleton (the area that has the highest concentration of oak trees). The spray block for both 2009 and 2010 is shown below.
The 2010 spray treatment, along with help from natural enemies (Entomophaga fungus and the Encyrtid Wasp Ooencyrtus kuvanae) resulted in a very low gypsy moth population and almost non existent leaf damage inside the spray block. The same results have occurred throughout much of Dane County.
No gypsy moth spraying has occurred in 2011 or 2012; egg mass populations have fallen below the threshold needed to meet DNR spray program requirements. The same looks true for 2013.
This is not to imply that gypsy moth may still not be a problem for your individual tree. There are treatments and control methods that you as a homeowner can do or have a certified arborist company do for you to control gypsy moth. For further information, or to report a gypsy moth problem that lies outside of the area shown above, please contact City Forester/Horticulturist Mark Wegner at 821-83560.