Gypsy moth caterpillars spotted in parts of western Massachusetts

Weather News

More and more leaves are showing up on the trees but in some areas, those leaves are starting to be eaten by gypsy moth caterpillars.

At UMass in Amherst, there are small caterpillars on some of the trees.

Last year gypsy moth caterpillars defoliated over 923,000 acres in Massachusetts. According to UMass Extension Entomologist Tawny Simsiky, spring drought conditions that we experienced from 2014 to 2016 inhibited a fungus that infects and kills the caterpillars but last year things were wetter.:

“In 2017 we had a wet rainy spring and that led to an infection in the caterpillar population which unfortunately we didn’t see until late June of 2017 after they had defoliated many trees,” said UMass Extension Entomologist Tawny Simisky.

It’s hard to say just how bad this year will be but thanks to the fungus the gypsy moth caterpillar population should be on the decline.

Click here for more information on the gypsy moth caterpillars here in Massachusetts.

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