Several Mass. residents want to know why there are so many moths around this time of year.
“Why are there so many moths around this time of year? My house is surrounded by them,” asked Tricia Griffiths of Woburn.
“They are stuck on windows and walls everywhere I go,” said Ingrid from Framingham.
“I can’t get in or out of the house without letting a bunch in,” said Christina from Newton.
They’re among a dozen curious people who wrote in and asked about the infestation of white moths at this unlikely time of year.
“Are we having an epidemic of them?” asked Virginia McNiff from Shirley.
We took the questions to Mark Bezreh, who owns Arbor care Tree Service.
“I think it’s the most I’ve seen so far. There are moths everywhere and they’re swarming like crazy,” he said. “There’s going to be a high caterpillar population in the spring, so we’re getting ready for a heavy infestation.”
They’re called Winter Moths from Europe. They most likely hitchhiked to New England by attaching themselves to crates containing imported products. Since they have no natural predators here, their population is swelling.
The big problem comes in the spring though, when their caterpillars emerge and feast on leafy deciduous trees like maples, oaks, elms, and fruit trees.
“If it’s a weak stressed out tree to begin with, the caterpillar can kill it,” said Bezreh.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to get rid of the moths now. Experts say they’ll be around through the end of December.
In the spring, Bezreh recommends nontoxic pesticide sprays.
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