You hear the same thing every year about gypsy moths. Around this time newscasters start telling us that it’ll be the worst year on record. Or something. And you think to yourself how they’re going to possibly outdo themselves?
How can anyone beat last year? Every time I stepped outside, it sounded like it was raining because so many of them were chewing up my precious oak trees.
I remember driving to work along Rt. 15 and seeing rows upon rows of decimated trees. They looked absolutely barren! A perfect backdrop for any horror movie. So, I definitely don’t want that to happen ever again.
But, already, I’m hearing reports about swarms upon swarms of gypsy moths. And how they’re causing rashes and welts to blossom across sensitive skin.
Well, if you happen to feel the same way, you gotta do something about it. Because, now’s the time to strike.
And strike hard. Because the enemy’s vulnerable.
According to WTNH, start spraying now if you even hope to control their numbers this year. Apparently, it’s not just the ticks that are enjoying a boom in their population. Turns out that super mild winter benefited our favorite creepy crawly nuisances, too.
Experts say that gypsy moth egg masses should start turning up in abundance. Each egg mass, by the way, produces between 600 to 800 of their larvae.
So, while it may be tempting to douse one of those webby-looking nightmare nests in gasoline and light it on fire, please refrain from doing that. Even if it would make you feel better, you definitely won’t be saving any trees that way.
So, grab the spray and get to work. Look, I understand that there’s people out there totally uncomfortable by using chemicals. But, I think if the trees experience what they suffered through last year, chances are they’ll probably die.
Don’t forget just how many hundreds of acres of trees these gypsy moths chomped through, too. I’m sure you can pull up satellite images if you need a refresher.
Honestly, shade became an endangered species last year considering all the tree leaves that bit the dust.
Although, some opponents of spraying the problems away have a feeling it might not be necessary this year. Turns out all this rain benefits a certain gypsy moth-killing fungus.
However, some experts believe the historic drought and late rains may have stalled the fungus’ growth.
In short: it’s too early to tell if the fungus will do what nature intended it to do. If it did… yay! If it didn’t… uh oh Spaghetti O’s.
Joseph Elkinton, a professor of entomology at the University of Massachusetts, believes nature has a plan B just in case if the latter happens. Elkinton says Mother Nature’s probably cooking up a nasty caterpillar-killing virus as we speak.
As for humanity making the first preemptive strike, Elkinton told WTNH:
“States in New England should not be involved with aerial spraying of gypsy moths. It makes no sense whatsoever.”
So, if you want to sit around and believe mother nature will eventually balance things out, that’s great. But, if you’re like me and don’t want any other trees to bite the dust as they did last year, feel free to spray away.
Also, I checked, gypsy moth spray won’t hurt your local pollinators. Plus, it might save you money in the long-run.
I mean, let’s say you want to sell your house five years from now. Having a dead tree lying around your property might shave a little off your asking price.
Either way, the gypsy moths will probably eat through another summer unless we do something about it.
Will you be spraying or hoping Mother Nature gets her act together?