The end of days is not yet nigh, but the Northeast U.S. is battling its own insect plague right now. These fuzzy little pests called gypsy moths have a voracious appetite too. In Massachusetts alone they have eaten through 100,000 acres of trees, divesting them of all their leaves and leaving them naked way before winter.
They have become such a problem that officials are now seriously worried they will cause significant ecological problems. They are harming oak trees to the point that the animals that depend on them for sustenance such as wild turkeys and bears will likely have no acorns to eat, and their numbers could suffer in the coming months especially once fall comes around. Firefighters are worried that these bare trees will be more combustible, causing mass wildfires around that part of the country. There are even people putting Vaseline all over the trunks to try and discourage the hungry little bastards. This is the worst part: houses are turning black from being covered in so much gypsy moth poo. It is thought to be the worst gypsy moth infestation since the 1980s.
Scientists are blaming the lack of the fungus Entomophaga maimaga, called the “caterpillar killer.” The fungus, which has not grown this year due to the dry weather, usually infects the gypsy moths during the Spring and keeps their numbers under control. It looks like an especially bad year to wear white outside.
Have you ever seen these gypsy moths at work? How are the affecting the wildlife around your home?