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Volunteer to help with the Spongy Moth Outbreak in Madison

Learn more about Spongy Moth caterpillars and how you can help protect local flora.

608 spongy moth

Keep your eyes peeled for these caterpillar critters.

Photo via City of Madison

The Wisconsin DNR anticipates that over the next two months, we could witness the worst Spongy Moth caterpillar outbreak in over a decade. In light of this, the City of Madison is requesting volunteers to assist in protecting local trees during this time.

These caterpillars have a taste for oak, aspen, birch, crabapple, willow, tamarack, and basswood. During outbreaks, they cause significant damage by defoliating trees and shrubs.

The main area of concern is between Whitney Way and North Gammon Road. Here’s how you can help:

  1. Email with a description or a map screenshot of where you plan to work.
  2. Pick up burlap (while supplies last) between 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 8 at the Engineering Division Operations Facility — 1600 Emil St.
  3. Install burlap barrier band traps.

Pro tip: Avoid touching caterpillars with bare skin, irritation after contact is common.