How to Destroy Gypsy Moth Egg Masses

How to Destroy Gypsy Moth Egg Masses – Scrape & Soak, or Spray

Since each egg mass contains from 500 to 1000 eggs, destruction of egg masses before hatch can have an impact on populations. Starting in the fall, search your property, including trees, building walls, outdoor furniture, wood piles, and play equipment, for egg masses.

• Using a putty knife or similar tool, scrape the egg masses into a plastic bag or can. Once collected, empty the
contents of the bag into a container of soapy water (dish soap works well) and soak for two days. This is essential to kill the eggs. Don’t scrape egg masses onto the ground or try to crush them with your shoe as they will survive to hatch next spring. Any parts of the egg mass you are unable to scrape off can also hold surviving eggs.

• An alternative to physically removing egg masses is to saturate egg masses before hatch with a solution of horticultural oil. This will smother the gypsy moth larvae (caterpillars) within the eggs. You can make your own spray using vegetable oil and water and dishwashing liquid. Use a small spray bottle, household sprayer, or “supersoaker” water gun to soak the egg masses. Do not use motor oil or mineral oils. Spray the oil onto the egg mass until it is saturated.

Horticultural Oil Recipe
Mix one tablespoon of liquid soap with one cup of cottonseed oil. You can also use safflower oil, soybean oil or vegetable oil as an alternative to cottonseed oil. Mix 11⁄2 tablespoons of your oil mixture for every one cup of water. Shake mixture well before spraying.


7 thoughts on “How to Destroy Gypsy Moth Egg Masses

  1. Horticultural oil recipe says to mix 11/2 Tbsp of oil/soap mixture w/ 1 cup water. 11/2 ?? Should this be 1-1/2 Tbsp?

  2. I think so. Another site, with this same recipe, said to mix 2 Tablespoons of this mix with the water.

  3. Any suggestions on how much oil one would mix with 5 gallons of water?? I have a lot of trees to treat.
    Would appreciate any suggestions form you mathematical geniuses.


  4. How often should you saturate the egg masses with this solution after the initial spraying?

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