It might still feel like winter out there, but spring is here and soon Gypsy moth concerns will be back in full force.
For the third year in a row, Connecticut can expect another outbreak of the nasty pest that goes from egg to caterpillar to moth, and devastates thousands of trees along the way.
In 2015, 175,000 acres were defoliated by Gypsy moths in Connecticut, and 204,000 last year.
This spring, experts expect that number to climb.
The lack of rain is a big contributor to the problem.
A certain fungus that attacks the caterpillar needs moisture to thrive, so no rain, no fungus.
On Thursday, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection addressed the potential impact, including a "leafless summer" as they nibble on trees, plus a bigger risk of wildfires as the sun beats down.
As leaves start popping in a few weeks, the caterpillars will start appearing.
They are small but mighty.
Residents are being asked to evaluate their trees by banding the trunks or using burlap bags to catch the caterpillars.
"You can also spray horticultural oil or soap on the egg masses and that's usually done by a licensed arborist. We always recommend that if people are going to hire someone, they check credentials,” said Chris Martin, director of Forestry for DEEP.
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