CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News has brought you stories before about the infestation of gypsy moth caterpillars in parts of Franklin and Hampshire Counties. They are doing serious defoliation of the trees, especially in eastern Hampden County.
22News spoke with Laura Mele, a certified arborist, on Monday and found out that this outbreak of gypsy moth caterpillars has gotten worse. “I was just up in Monson and the whole canopy is missing,” Mele said. “First they go after the oaks and then they go to maple and then birch, and eventually conifers which they usually don’t eat, but the population is so high they’re just going for all the food they can.”
Natural fungi and viruses are not able to stop these moths due to the dry weather pattern over the past couple of years and especially this past spring.
The good news is soon most of the eggs will be turning into moths, which will not cause too much feeding damage. Some rain in the forecast will also help take care of the issue as well.