Jul 27

Gipsy moth

Here is a bit more information about the moth from the textbook “Agricultural entomology for all” by Associate Professor Radoslav Andreev from the Agricultural university in Plovdiv:

She is a big enemy of orchards and trees in general as it devours their leaves. She shows up periodically does a lot of damage in the plains and forest areas up to 1300m altitude.

The Gipsy moth  develops one generation per year and spends the winter as an egg with fully developed embryo on the bark of trees. The egg piles are covered with yellow moss from the belly of the female, that mimics a mushroom, from where the name comes ( in most languages ). In February-March the caterpillars hatch. They are gathered in different spots on the trunk and resemble a mirror. Later on they spread out and begin eating leaves and buds. While they are young they feed as a group and wrap around damaged stems in a spider like nests. Older caterpillars feed for themselves without nests. They excrete a burning like liquid from their hairs that protects them. Caterpillars develop in about 30-45 days. They make form a loose cocoon in damaged parts of the tree. The butterflies emerge in June-July.  The male butterflies fly during the day, the females at dusk. After copulation, they lay eggs on pies of about 250 to 500 on the lower parts of the trunks. During the winter, they can survive up to -30°С to -40°С.

Their development is mostly depended on abiotic factors. The enemy is a species with a perennial type of population dynamics. They mostly multiply after a drought, with low of summer rain and temperature. A strong influence on the population’s dynamic is the food. At the end of the gradation period, there isn’t that much food, which leads to lowering the egg production and growing number of male butterflies.

The campaign to destroy the caterpillars that are dangerous for the trees begins in Bourgas.

The companies engaged in the maintenance will spray a special chemical, which is safe for humans but protects them while they are still in cocoon stage.

Citizens are signaling about the presence of dangerous pests in several areas around Bourgas, as for the local services, they are waiting for more and more signals reported the site burgasinfo.


The calls will be handled by 84 15 60  and 84 25 25 for the trees in the city that are attacked by insects.

For private trees in private properties, the service will be paid.

The signals will be accepted until July the 10th.

The caterpillar of the american white butterfly is omnivorous, but it prefers leaves from Ash tree ( Fraxinus ) and Acer trees. This year in Bourgas, even the tilia trees were affected by the pest.

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