A Biological Surprise Attack Slows Gypsy Moth Invasion

In the New York Times

by Andrew Revken

Here’s a tale from the annals of globalizing insect problems and solutions.

In mid-June, I was taken aback twice during a walk in the woods near our home in the Hudson Highlands. First, I realized I was hearing a steady, quiet pitter-patter, like that from a drizzle, but on a sunny day. Glancing down, I saw thousands of tiny green leaf fragments on the forest floor and realized the rain was droppings and table scraps from countless caterpillars munching the newly emerged canopy far above.

This was clearly a bad outbreak of the gypsy moth, an invasive species whose occasional arboreal ravages were familiar to me from childhood days in Rhode Island long ago. (In fact, this year’s infestations, which the Associated Press described as perhaps the worst since the 1980s, are particularly bad in my home state.)

Read the rest of the story at nytimes.com.

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