LEDYARD, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s a scene repeated throughout eastern Connecticut. Several Gypsy Moth caterpillars can be seen crawling on a Long Cove Road home in the Gales Ferry section of town.
On the ground you can also see chewed up leaves and the caterpillar droppings which get slippery when wet.
“There was one woman who said she slipped and hurt her hip,” said Naomi Rodriguez who is chairman of the Ad Hoc committee in Ledyard dedicated to fighting the creepy crawlers.
“You step on them every single step and everything you touch will have a caterpillar on it,” said April Flemming. Her family didn’t spray for the Gypsy Moth caterpillars which now cover her property.
“When you’re walking in the woods or something it literally sounds like rain coming down,” said Fleming. “It’s disgusting.”
And some say it’s also unhealthy. Rodriquez says the caterpillars have histamines and can cause allergic reactions.
“It itches a lot,” said Fleming who knows others who have had caterpillars fall on them while gardening.
Last year’s infestation was the last straw for Rodriquez.
“The caterpillars would be falling on your head,” described Rodriguez. “They would be all over my house. My house looked black.”
Her property was sprayed and says it’s not too late for others to do the same but it may be too late for the defoliated trees. The tallest one in Rodriquez’s front yard will be the next to come down before she says a bad storm takes it down.
Dealing with the caterpillars and the damage they’ve caused is expensive.
“You have a lot of people that are on a fixed income and it’s not fair that they have to deal with this nightmare,” said Rodriguez.
She’s hoping mayors of affected towns can all get together and try to fight this problem and hopefully stop infestations next year.