Gypsy Moth Monitoring Program 2021

Eastern Canada’s climate and availability of host trees have provided the ideal habitat for colonization of gypsy moths, which have invaded Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. The caterpillars feed on foliage, which presents a risk to local Christmas tree growers.

As Gypsy Moth becomes a prevalent issue in Christmas Tree lots across the province, it is integral to find ways to capture and monitor population levels. Numerous growers have turned to homemade traps that are just as, or more effective than store bought, but for a lower price. Follow the steps below to create your Gypsy Moth trap!

Do you see Gypsy Moths in your Christmas tree lot? Become a citizen scientist and receive a gypsy moth trap or simply create your own. NSDA and CTCNS will provide a lure if you make your own. In putting up a trap, we ask that you share your data in a short survey on your collection days.

Contacts:  [email protected] (Jay, Perennia), [email protected] (Ross, NSDA), [email protected] (Lienna, CTCNS),  [email protected] (Gillian, CTCNS)


  • A transparent 2-litre pop or juice bottle
  • Scissors or a knife
  • Twine
  • Screw eyes
  • Tape
  • Gypsy Moth pheromone lure
  • Water and dish soap
  • Disposable gloves (when handling the pheromone strips)


  • Store the lure in the fridge to save for the next trap.


  • Rinse the bottle.
  • Cut 4 ‘slot’ holes around the bottle. Typically, the widest point of the bottle is best. The hole should be approximately 3 cm (1 – 3/16 in) long, and 1.25 cm (approx. ½ inch) in height.
  • Remove the bottle lid and punch a hole just large enough for a small screw eye. String twine through the screw eye and tie a knot at the desired length. If screw eyes are not available, feed the twine through the hole of the lid and tie a knot. The screw eye will prevent the twine from getting wet inside the trap.
  • Secure a piece of Gypsy Moth pheromone to the inside of the lid. This can be done by taking a small piece of tape and attaching it to the underside of the lid. Be cautious not to cover the entire lure with tape as it needs to hang down from the lid slightly.
  • Place a couple of inches of water into the bottle and add a couple of drops of dish soap. The solution traps moths that enter the bottle and prevent their escape.
  • Hang your trap in the desired location and monitor regularly. You will have to refresh the lure, water and dish soap on occasion or when the trap gets too full.

Step 1: Set up your trap in your Christmas tree lot (see the reverse for instructions) and register your trap with [email protected] (you’ll need the ID# and the trap’s GPS location).

Step 2: Set up your regular data collection schedule and begin collecting your dataset. You’ll need to set aside time every few days to do insect counts and refresh your trap.

Step 3: Record the dates your trap was set out, the number of insects captured, and the number of gypsy moths identified. Every time you count the insects in your trap and refresh the trap, you’ll need to report your data to the Research Team. You can submit your report quickly through the Online Form ( or send it directly to [email protected].

For more info, see Pest & Weed Guides on the CTCNS Resource Management page:

Additional Resources