Grease bands are mainly used to protect fruit trees, such as apple, plum, pear and cherry from winter moth caterpillars.
Note that sticky barriers give no protection against codling moth (the cause of maggoty apples), plum moth (the cause of maggoty plums) or other types of caterpillars. That pest has winged females that are active in midsummer.
- Mottled umber moth (Erannis defoliaria), winter moth (Operophtera brumata) and March moth (Alsophila aescularia) have wingless females which, after emerging from the pupal or chrysalis stage in the soil, must climb the tree to mate and lay their eggs. The caterpillars of these moths eat the leaves of many deciduous trees and shrubs during late March to early June
- Grease bands and tree barrier glues trap the wingless females before they reach the branches and lay eggs. Winter moth is the most troublesome of these moths, it emerges as adults during November to mid-January