Do you know how to get rid of brown tail moths? Brown tail moths are vermin that, when breathed, can cause breathing problems comparable to asthma and hair loss, which can break off and cause very unpleasant rashes on contact with skin.
If you’ve noticed the leaves being eaten from your shrubs or trees, you could be dealing with brown tail moths and their caterpillars. So, in this article, you will learn the best approach to getting rid of brown tail moths.
What is a Brown Tail Moth?
The brown-tail moth, or Euproctis chrysorrhoea, is a member of the family Erebidae and is commonly known by its scientific name. It is endemic to the northern coasts of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Moths have an unusual life cycle in which they spend almost nine months as larvae (caterpillars), from August to April. This leaves about one month for pupae, imagos, and eggs.
Caterpillars (larvae) have hairs all over their bodies. These species of hairy moth larvae can be distinguished from others by the presence of two red spots on their backs near the tail.
Adults with wings are white all over except for a tuft of brown hair on the tip of the abdomen. Typically, females will deposit their eggs in a cluster on the underside of a leaf of their host plant.
This species eats a wide variety of plants, including pears, apples, maples, and oaks, thanks to its polyphagous diet. Their caterpillars are voracious eaters that will defoliate broadleaf plants eventually causing the plant to die.
How to Identify Brown Tail Moth?
In any Pest Control plan, what you do first is to identify what exactly you’re dealing with. Carelessness with identification can lead to wrong treatment methods costing you time and money.
The brown tail moth caterpillars are small pests that grow up to 1.5 inches in length. They have hairy dark brown bodies with a dashed, white stripe on both sides of their bodies and orange or red spots found towards the tail.
Brown tail moths have a wingspan of about 1.5 inches and are white in color. They have tubs of brown hair located at the ends of their abdomens.
Hence, comes to the name brown tail moth. Be aware that once you start to see the adult moths, damage to your shrubs and trees would already have been done for the season.
You’ll still want to treat them as they lay eggs on your property, which will hatch into more caterpillars in the future.
Read also: Moth Feeds On What? | Moth Diet Exposed
Where Do I Find Brown Tail Moths
Once, you know the pest you’re dealing with, the next thing is knowing where to find hot spots of their activities. Below are steps to where you can find brown tail moths on your property.
- Check around your property to confirm their presence.
- Brown tail moth caterpillars can be found on the leaves of broadleaf trees and shrubs from April to late June.
- The trees they typically target included oak, apple, cherry Hawthorne, blackthorn, and ramble trees.
- Adult moths will emerge in July and can be seen until August as they mate and lay eggs.
- During the winter caterpillars will create tent-like webs wrapped around leaves and branches.
- You’ll know these are brown tail moth caterpillars and not tent caterpillars since tent caterpillars are active during the spring.
How to Get Rid of Brown Tail Moths and Their Caterpillars
After identifying the pest you’re dealing with and also where to find brown tail moth on your property, it’s time to start treatment.
Before attempting any treatment or handling chemicals, be sure to wear your personal protective equipment and remember to keep all people and pets off the treated areas until dry.
- First, prune away any of the infested twigs, branches, and limbs you found during your inspection.
- Pruning will help minimize the population, control nests and food sources and stimulate the plant’s growth,
- Avoid pruning too many branches since that may cause your plant unnecessary stress.
- To get rid of brown tail moth caterpillars. You’ll need to use an insecticide with long-term residual protection (Supreme IT).
What is Supreme IT?
Supreme IT is a liquid insecticide concentrate and made with 7.9% bifenthrin. So, it will need to be mixed with water before application.
We recommend you use 1/8 to 1/4 of a fluid ounce of product per one gallon of spray solution to apply over 1,000 square feet of the treatment area.
Since brown tail moth caterpillars are typically found in elevated spaces. We recommend you mix and apply the solution with a 20-gallon in a hose-end sprayer.
How to Apply Supreme IT Insecticide
Note: Do not apply this product to any plant grown for consumption.
- Once your solution is mixed, spray the leaves on all foliage and trees on your property.
- Be sure to spray underneath the leaves as well to spray elevated areas.
- Remove the spray tip to produce a long reaching stream.
- Supreme IT will work to kill pests when it comes in contact with and it will also leave a long-lasting residual.
- Supreme IT will continue to control the area for up to 90 days.
To get rid of adult moths, you’ll need to make a space grey application with an insecticide like Flex 10-10.
What is Flex 10-10?
Flex 10-10 is an emulsifier concentrate that contains 10% Permethrin and 10% Pimpernel butoxide a synergist. We recommend you apply this product with a ulv fogger or a misting system.
With a 0.09% emulsion of this product to treat every 1,000 cubic feet of space to achieve that concentration. You can make 64 fluid ounces of product into 55 gallons of water.
How to Apply Flex 10-10
Once you’ve mixed your solution.
- Apply the solution as a fog or mist in the desired treatment spaces.
- When applying the foliage, be sure to cover over and underneath the leaves.
- This application will treat flying pests that make contact with the mist.
How to Prevention Brown Tail Moths
Prevention is essential to keeping pests in check even after you’ve applied pesticides, the best way to stop pest activity is to prevent it from reoccuring.
- To prevent brown tail moth caterpillars from infesting your lawn proper.
- Lawn maintenance will go a long way to keep brown tail moths out.
- Mow your grass to its proper height.
- Regularly rake away leaf litter and debris.
- Properly water your lawn shrubs.
- Regular maintenance will keep your yard clean and inhibit caterpillars from trap.
- Treat present adult moths with Flex 10-10 until the population is controlled.
- Finally, we recommend you make quarterly applications with Supreme IT to protect your foliage from caterpillars and other pests throughout the year.
Brown tail moth caterpillars will not only defoliate your trees and shrubs, but they’ll also spread their irritative hairs around your property.
Keeping up with these professional clues from Pestclue, We believe you now know how to get rid of brown tail moths and their caterpillars.
Also, you can stop brown tail moths and their caterpillars from infesting your property. If this article was resourceful, do well to share.