Rain could slow gypsy moth problems this year - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Rain could slow gypsy moth problems this year

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Gyspy moths are expected to be a problem in Connecticut this year. (WFSB) Gyspy moths are expected to be a problem in Connecticut this year. (WFSB)
HADDAM, CT (WFSB) -

State officials said gypsy moths are starting to hatch in Connecticut, and in recent years they’ve become a growing problem.

The caterpillars can do a lot of damage eating their way through leaves, according to state officials.

Dorothy Luhn’s Haddam yard is lined with oak trees and she lined those trees with tape to guard against gypsy moths. The caterpillars get stuck on the tape, stopping them from traveling up the tree to do damage.

“This is the first time I’m trying it here and I caught a lot so far,” Luhn said.

It’s not just a problem in Luhn’s yard, she says her whole Haddam neighborhood is infected.

Environmental officials say dry spring weather in recent years has caused the population to explode and last year was also a bad year for them.

“They hatched and I wasn’t ready. They were just, they consumed the leaves, the trees, it was horrendous,” Luhn said. “And they crawled all over the house.”

But this rainy weather can help keep the population in check.

“The wetter the spring the less activity you’ll see because there’s actually a fungus that counteracts the gypsy moth,” Rick Garner with K and J Tree Service in Hamden said.

Gypsy moths are not only a nuisance; health officials say they can also cause a pesky rash.  

“It’s a real problem,” Luhn said.

K and J Tree Service said there are also ways to protect your trees.

“We can control it with a pesticide if it is that bad,” Garner said. “We can also control it organically so there are many options depending on the outbreak itself.”  

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