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Spongy moths swarm locally

Jul 10, 2023 1:03 am

Andrea Macko reports in Porcupine Soup that spongy moths are all over the area this year, and the invasive species can be bad for local trees. Previously known as gypsy moths, they don't eat much, but lay eggs that become caterpillars which decimate trees. Sandra Linnell, community horticulture program coordinator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties, said, “We have received a lot of phone calls about this pest.... We just created an informational page on our website." The U.S. Department of Agriculture says one spongy moth caterpillar can eat up to a square foot of leaves each day. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties says, “The caterpillars feed on leaves of the forest, shade, ornamental and fruit trees, and shrubs. A single defoliation can kill some evergreens, but usually, two or more defoliations are needed to kill hardwoods." The moths, reported in swarms locally, will only live about two weeks, so will be gone soon. Read more about this story in Porcupine Soup.

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