Not Cicadas-Thousands of These Insects Invading Cap Region
You may not even be able to see these insects crawling all over local trees in the Capital Region. It's not because they are tiny, it's because there are so many that they blend in with the color of the tree bark. It's only when you get up close that you notice the gypsy moth caterpillars covering the trees. There's a huge infestation happening throughout the Capital Region and especially in Saratoga and Warren Counties.
According to News Channel 13, the gypsy moth caterpillars feed on leaves and foliage from the trees. That's why you may see some oak trees that they occupy could be bare. They can strip a tree in one day. Residents in the North Country say that their trees and sidewalks are covered with them. They estimate there are anywhere from hundreds to thousands in their trees. Although they don't directly hurt people, they can be a nuisance and because there are so many, they could affect those that suffer from allergies because of the caterpillar hair.
The Department of Environmental Conservation says that they haven't seen it this bad of a gypsy moth caterpillar outbreak since 2005-2008. That one damaged nearly two hundred thousand acres of trees in the Capital Region. The DEC says that there is really nothing that can be done to stop the outbreak but they should be gone by the end of June. The hope is that the natural cycle takes effect and the trees regrow and bounce back. Until then, they are unsightly and are damaging trees but there is nothing we can do. It's just Mother Nature at work.