With summer temperatures rising, the invasive gypsy moth population continues to grow and spread, now affecting a greater variety of trees in Connecticut.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) confirms that the gypsy moths continue to affect oak trees and now have spread to other tree species such as witch hazel and maple.
But DEEP is hopeful that the growth of the maimaiga fungus from this year's wet spring will soon infect the gypsy moth caterpillars and halt the growth of the gypsy moth population. Cool temperatures have slowed the growth rate of the gypsy moth caterpillars who are only now making their way down from the tree crowns and onto the ground, where they will encounter the fungus.
It is too early to see how effective this fungus will be on the gypsy moth population, but initial reports have seen promising die off levels.
According to DEEP, the gypsy moth has been in Connecticut since 1905, but has only recently become a problem in Connecticut as dry weather trends become more prevalent. Repeated outbreaks will likely have lasting effects on individual trees as well as the health of entire forests.