Ledyard neighbors hope rain will help stop gypsy moth infestation

LEDYARD, Conn. (WTNH) — Residents in some parts of Connecticut, including in part of Ledyard, are dealing with gypsy moth infestations. The caterpillars are small, but they are bugging neighbors because they are also destructive.

Part of a big tree in Naomi Rodriguez’s yard in Ledyard is dead. She thinks the caterpillars could have something to do with it. They are also triggering some people’s allergies.

“The caterpillars are covered with histamine,” Rodriguez said. “So if that touches the skin of your children, they break out in a rash.”

Many neighbors will be having their yards sprayed. Some have taken matters into their own hands, putting tape around the trunks of trees. The hope is that the caterpillars will get stuck and the tree will be protected. Neighbors say it does not work when there are this many caterpillars, however.

“We’ve noticed they are already getting above [the tape] and they’re already getting up into the trees,” said Camie Lozier of Ledyard.

Getting rid of the pests can be pricey, but neighbors are hoping for some help from Mother Nature. The dry weather we have had in the past has not helped, however.

“Because of the drought for the past two years we didn’t have the fungus growing on the trees as we usually do,” Rodriguez said.

All of the rain we have had and the rain we are expecting this weekend could help that fungus grow, which would kill the caterpillars.

“I can’t honestly imagine how bad it would be if we didn’t have the rain,” said Lozier. “The rain’s been horrible, but if it’s helping, I’m glad we have it.”

Will all the rain help with the gypsy moth caterpillar problem? Neighbors do not expect to know until later in May or early June. Until then all they can do is keep spraying.

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