Late November is a time for family, thankfulness - and winter moths.
The invasive insects that defoliate trees are expected to emerge in Rhode Island this week, not long after having been spotted in Massachusetts.
Native to Europe, winter moths have damaged a growing number of trees throughout New England in recent years. They emerge from Thanksgiving to Christmas when females lay eggs. Caterpillars hatch in the spring and start chomping. They like maples, oaks and apple trees, but they'll feed on a wide variety of hardwood trees.
One expert says they could be particularly problematic this spring for drought-stressed trees.
The moths were found last year in Long Island, New York, southeastern Connecticut, most of Rhode Island, eastern Massachusetts and along the New Hampshire and Maine coasts. They have also been found in Oregon and Washington.
Entomology specialist Tawny Simisky describes the moths as "pesky critters."
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