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Gypsy moth caterpillars making a return

(WWLP) - According to UMass Extension Entomologist Tawny Simsiky, they received reports of egg pods hatching in Belchertown in late April.

Recently small gypsy moth caterpillars have also been seen on some of the trees on the UMass campus in the same areas they were spotted last year.

Right now the caterpillars are small but they will be getting much bigger and making their way into the trees over the next couple of weeks.

Back in 2016, a large number of gypsy moth caterpillars defoliated trees in eastern Hampden and eastern Hampshire Counties.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation is expecting regionalized pockets of defoliation in those same areas once again this year. The gypsy moth caterpillars returned following drought conditions a few years ago that limited the effectiveness of a fungus that had helped to kill them off.

If you have seen and have pictures of gypsy moth caterpillars you can send them to us at reportit@wwlp.com.

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