Oak Park residents are urged to keep an eye out for spongy moth this summer.
The spongy moth is an invasive tree pest that feeds on many tree species but is especially problematic on oak trees. In large numbers they can defoliate a tree, and with several years of defoliation trees can experience severe decline.
Oak Park is experiencing an outbreak in the area of Chicago and East avenues.
Eggs have hatched and caterpillars are actively feeding. Village Forestry officials anticipate that caterpillars will pupate later this summer and white to tan colored moths will emerge.
Females are flightless and can be found on the bark of tree trunks and larger limbs. They lay egg masses that are about 1.5 inches long, fuzzy and tan colored.
When numbers are large, spongy moths can be found on other objects such as patio furniture, fences, signs and buildings.
Residents can report suspected sightings on parkway trees to the Forestry Division at 708.358.5700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If spongy moth is suspected on a private tree, please contact a certified arborist or the Morton Arboretum’s Plant Clinic to learn more about the many management options.
For more information about parkway tree care and maintenance, visit www.oak-park.us/trees.