The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) will be setting over 10,000 traps for gypsy moth in 47 counties, including Dane County, starting in mid-May through early June. DATCP requests that property owners allow trappers access to place traps and to not disturb the traps once in place.
The data gathered from the traps provides an estimate of the state’s gypsy moth population and is used to plan for spray treatments designed to slow their spread. Traps are small green boxes tied to tree branches. The trap contains the scent of a female gypsy moth that is undetectable to other insects and is used to attract and catch male gypsy moths.
Trappers will monitor traps until the male moths stop flying in August, at which time the traps are removed. Trappers wear fluorescent vests and carry identification cards. Each trap is labeled with a phone number that property owners can call if they have questions or decide they want it removed. For more information, visit https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Programs_Services/GMSurvey.aspx, or call DATCP’s Gypsy Moth Program toll-free at (800) 642-MOTH, or email email@example.com.
History of the Gypsy Moth Suppression Program
A state gypsy moth suppression program headed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was deactivated by the Natural Resources Board in 2018. In unquarantined counties in the western part of Wisconsin where small, isolated populations of the pest are just starting to emerge, another program, called Slow the Spread and run by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) continues. Unlike the former DNR program, the Slow the Spread program is not voluntary, and DATCP does not take landowner or municipal requests for sprays.
Homeowners who are considering insecticide treatments on their properties should contact an arborist or tree service. The Wisconsin Arborist Association has a list of certified arborists available. Additional businesses offering insecticide treatments may be found in the phone book under Tree Service. Homeowners can also purchase insecticides (some applied as a soil drench) at garden centers and large retailers.