The memories of last year’s Gypsy Moth caterpillar invasion may be returning to homeowners as the weather begins to warm up. Many in Ledyard dealt with the invasive insects and the loss of trees to another year of infestation in 2017. The town even has an ad hoc committee to try to deal with the problem.
“It’s not appealing at all. It’s pretty gross,” said resident Mikayla Fors. She now stands on a clean walkway which was covered in the droppings of the Gypsy Moth caterpillars last year.
“It’s one of the things I think about every year now is if they’re going to come back,” said Fors.
The Garden Media group says an outbreak of gypsy moth caterpillars, the biggest in more than three decades, is predicted to again devour trees across Connecticut. The time to take action may be now. Some people like to put a physical barrier on their tree. The tree can be wrapped and a sticky substance is added to create the barrier. That’s what the Fors family plans to do again this year.
“Maybe spray down the house a little bit with anything to make them not attach to the house,” added Fors.
“This is a straight oil which suffocates their egg masses,” said Wayne Henson at Holdridge Home & Garden Showplace.
“It poisons the caterpillar slowly,” said Henson. “It actually starves it.”
And it doesn’t kill any other wildlife. Neither does Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew but that works a lot faster in hours instead of days. Henson is hopeful Ledyard won’t see another big infestation
“There’s no egg masses so hopefully not a lot of problems this year,” said Henson.
He says the fungus created by last May’s rains may have killed the caterpillars before they were able to lay their eggs for the next season.