This photo was taken on June 28. In other words, these trees should have leaves. (Phil Burt/CapeCodWeather.net)
When the European gypsy moth hatches, it is born as a furry little caterpillar. They emerge from their eggs in the spring and proceed to feed mercilessly on the surrounding foliage. Tree leaves and coniferous needles are the primary target of this tiny scourge, and if you happen to live in the middle of an infestation, you may feel as if the plague has descended on your own home.
This is what’s happening in New England. Caterpillars are everywhere, trees are decimated, and the skyline looks like the middle of winter.
“The tree damage is found in pockets that consist of just a few trees in a yard here and there to several acres completely defoliated,” Phil Burt, a meteorologist in Massachusetts, told The Washington Post. Burt said that, at least in Brewster, Mass., the caterpillars are “probably at their worst since the early to mid-1980s.”