Hide your kids, hide your wife, because it’s raining caterpillar poop in here.
According to residents in upstate New York, countless gypsy moth caterpillars are feasting on tree leaves in their neighborhoods and secreting feces onto residential yards.
The New York Dept of Environmental Conservation (DEC) said that. Every 10-15 years, gypsy moth infestations and last about three years.
Given the current moth surge coupled with their voracious appetites, the agency has warned potentially they can damage thousands of acres of trees.
The pandemic grounded the Vermont Dept. of Forests, Parks and Recreation’s ability to crew small planes to make aerial forest inspections which kept authorities from catching the outbreak until it was too far along, according to Kathy Decker, manager of the forest protection program.
Early detection is critical to limiting the (European gypsy moth’s) spread, says the USDA.
People have also been warned to avoid picking them up because the bug’s fur causes skin irritations.
The second consecutive summer of severe gypsy moth caterpillar defoliation around the Frontenac Park area in ON. Oaks getting hit hardest and had only a weak second flush of leaves last year – hopefully healthy enough to do it again pic.twitter.com/PIYgqJsLfK— Robert H Fraser (@EOArctic) June 21, 2021
The invasive species are not native to North America; they were brought here in the 1800s to increase the production of silk and had become naturalized to the Northeast environment, according to Liam Somers, an entomologist at New York State Department of Environmental Conservation