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Gypsy Moth
This defoliating caterpillar has permanently established itself in our area. Populations fluctuate from year to year with corresponding fluctuation in leaf damage. Most trees can withstand a year or two of significant defoliation without permanent damage, however, beyond that the tree’s energy reserves can be depleted beyond its ability to recover. When gypsy moth populations have reached this damaging level, Wauwatosa has participated in the DNR’s aerial spray suppression program designed to drastically reduce the population by use of a chemical called BTK. The chemical is specific to caterpillars. Spray areas are determined by egg mass counts taken in the fall. Spraying takes place in early to mid-May. All residents in prospective spray areas are contacted by mail and given opportunities to attend public hearings well in advance of spraying. Report gypsy moth activity or egg masses to the Forestry Section.

Important – Gypsy Moth Aerial Spray Information For Your Area
From the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources:
March 30, 2011

We expect to spray for gypsy moth by plane in Wisconsin starting in mid-May. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will coordinate aerial spray activities in eight eastern Wisconsin counties as part of its Suppression Program. While local media may report on gypsy moth spraying, there are a number of ways you can find out detailed information about when spraying will happen in your area, the sites where spraying will take place, and other information (e.g., about gypsy moths, the damage they cause, management options for dealing with this invasive pest, etc.)

If you have an e-mail address, you are strongly urged to sign up for the DNR’s Gypsy Moth Spray Notification Service. Once you are signed up, you will receive emails prior to spray activities in your area and when spray activity is completed, or cancelled for that day because of weather. You can subscribe from the Wisconsin Gypsy Moth webpage at In the “Who To Contact” box below two state maps on that page, click on the link Gypsy Moth Spray Email Signup. You will be directed to the Gypsy Moth Spray Email Signup page. (This page is at Read the directions and click the link to subscribe.

If you do not have an email address or immediate access to an internet connection, you can find out about gypsy moth spray activities by calling the Wisconsin Cooperative Gypsy Moth Information Line at 1-800-642-6684 or 1-800-642-MOTH. The line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is updated frequently. You will need to call each day until the area you are interested in has been sprayed.

Other sources of information include:

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