There are moths that are not native to Western New York, and we could see a big boom of them soon.  If you see them, here's what the DEC is asking you to do.

They're called gypsy moths and the Department of Environmental Conservation estimates that we might see a huge surge in their population soon.  The moths lay egg masses in trees and they say last year was a huge boom for gypsy moth caterpillars.  Each egg mass that you find could have anywhere between 200 and 1000 eggs in it.  Which means if you see a couple masses in your tree, there could be potentially thousands of moths that will come from them.

The problem with the moths is that they like to eat the leaves of many hardwood trees and can ruin your landscaping. They aren't very picky insects.  According to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, they will eat from around 300 different species of trees. If you want to keep your trees protected, the DEC recommends controlling their population by scraping the egg mass off and putting them in a jar with detergent in it.

To make it worse, it doesn't already have a lot of natural predators.

The good news is that we can help to control their population rather easily.  If you see an egg mass, they encourage you to simply scrape it from the tree. Gypsy moths like to lay their eggs where they're protected well, so look for the egg masses on the underside of branches or on the main stem.

This is the time of year to catch them.  If you wait too long to check your trees, it may be too late and they will have hatched.

For more from the DEC on gypsy moths, click here.

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