With the invasive spongy moth making a resurgence in parts of Wisconsin, Kenosha County is now offering a resource page on its website to help people identify and address outbreaks.
Formerly known as the gypsy moth, the spongy moth is an established invasive insect that defoliates more than 300 species of trees including oaks, birch, lindens, crabapple, aspen and willows.
This summer, an outbreak of the spongy moth was observed in far-western portions of Kenosha County (in the Village of Twin Lakes and the Town of Randall) and in several other counties across Wisconsin. During its last major outbreak, in 2010, nearly 347,000 acres of tree defoliation occurred in Wisconsin.
The new resource page on the county website, accessible at kenoshacounty.org/spongymoth, includes images of the spongy moth at its four life stages — egg, caterpillar, pupa and adult — and it has links to resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension and the state Department of Natural Resources.
It also includes tips on how to destroy egg masses during the fall and winter months to minimize the following year’s spongy moth population, and a link to a portal where people can report sightings of egg masses on county parkland.
The page will be updated with additional resource information as current outbreaks evolve.