The Q&A Archives: winter moth larvae

Question: This past winter, we had an infestation of winter moths. Now we are dealing with the aftermath- the larvae. They have eaten all of the leaves off my oak trees, and are now starting on my flowers. I've tried a few

Answer: The botanical Bt (bacillus thuringensis) is quite effective against caterpillars. It's a bacterium that acts as a stomach poison so you'll have to wait until it takes effect before you see any results. I'd avoid using strong pesticides in the garden at this time. When there's a devastating outbreak of tent caterpillars or winter moths, beneficial wasps generally arrive to do the bad guys in. You don't want to discourage the good guys. Bt only affects caterpillars so it's safe to use and won't harm bees or wasps.

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