Gypsy moth caterpillars may be gone for good

Gypsy moths have damaged trees in Eastern Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Tuesday’s thunderstorms may have been a blessing in disguise for families who’ve been dealing with the gypsy moth caterpillar infestation for months.

22News found out how the rain helped get rid of the pesty insects.

According to Springfield Arborist Danny Briggs, Tuesday’s rain helped a fungus grow, that attacks gypsy moth caterpillars. That means caterpillars are now on the way out.

“I’m seeing dead Gypsy Moths on the trees and all research points to a Fungus and a Bacteria that’s killing them,” Briggs told 22News. “So when we go out and look at these, we’re seeing dead gypsy moths straight up and down.”

Gypsy moths have damaged trees in the Eastern Hampden County towns of Palmer, Holland, Brimfield and Monson.

The infestation even spread to Wilbraham, Hampden and East Longmeadow, and Ware in Hampshire County.

“I think it’s over, the worst is behind us, but I think festilizing our trees is very important. But I think the Caterpillars are moving on,” Briggs also added.

It’s too early to tell whether the infestation will repeat itself next year, but if it does, Briggs said he doesn’t think the problem will be quite as severe.