Spongy Moths

Spongy Moth Caterpillar


Photo by Karla Salp, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org

What is a Spongy Moth?

Formerly known as a Gypsy Moth, a Spongy Moth (Lymantria dispar) is a non-native insect from France.

The spongy moth can be an annoying pest in residential, urban and rural areas as well as forests. Spongy moth caterpillars, the immature “larval” stage, feed on the leaves of more than 300 species of trees. They favor oak trees, but many other tree species are also good hosts.

During an outbreak, the density of spongy moth caterpillars can be so high that many host trees are heavily or even completely defoliated. The abundance of large, hairy caterpillars and the resulting rain of frass (fecal pellets) from infested trees is unpleasant and can be distressing, especially for people who have not experienced a spongy moth outbreak before.

To read more about Spongy Moths in our area, CLICK HERE to visit Penn State Extension or CLICK HERE to visit The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources.

Control of Spongy Moths in Patton Township

In order to help minimize the effects of the Spongy Moth in our area, Patton Township has carried out the aerial spraying of BTK insecticide on Tuesday, May 16th, 2023 within 1250 acres of wooded neighborhoods. 

CLICK HERE for a Q&A on using BTK to control Spongy Moths from Purdue University

CLICK HERE to view the March 20, 2023 Press Release on Control of Spongy Moth Caterpillars for Spring 2023 

CLICK HERE to access Patton Township's Communication Plan for the Spongy Moth Spraying

Spraying Block Maps

Valley Vista Park Map
Park Forest and Homestead Farms Map
Oakwood and Woodycrest Map

Male moth (left), Female moth (right)

Photo courtesy of Bugwood.org 


Click on the links below to view additional documentation relating to the Spongy Moth Spraying