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It's Spring But Trees Are Dying in the East
The Gypsy Moth Invasion


Gypsy moth caterpillars prefer white oaks, but also feed on birch, aspen, beech and other trees.

The gypsy moth continues to invade trees in the eastern region of the United States. Originally from Europe and Asia, the gypsy moth was accidentally introduced to America in Massachusetts in 1869 through a failed silk-production experiment by E. Leopold Trouvelot. Over time, these tree-eating insects spread to Pennsylvania and further.

Massachusetts is fairing better this year than in previous years due to a gypsy-moth killing fungus, Entomophaga maimaiga, but the non-native insects are still at large in the forests.

Donald DuBois is the owner of DuBois Forestry and Land Management, LLC. A certified forester, he has noticed that the death of oak trees have increased in Connecticut in the last few years, calling it an "ecological disaster." The dead white oak trees have affected the plans of forestland owners. The defoliation of trees leads to the loss tree growth and food and habitat for the wildlife. DuBois believes that the ecosystem could change drastically if the gypsy moth continues to kill the forest trees.

The spring, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Bureau of Forestry will aerial spray eight counties with biological insecticide to suppress the gypsy moth infestation. Though the insecticide will be sprayed throughout the counties, the treatment is safe for humans, animals and other plants. If the weather is suitable, the spraying should be done by early June.

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October 17, 2019, 4:39 pm PDT

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