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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Governor, spare that tree!


You may have noticed the gray-brown swarms. Like the invaders in some low-budget horror flick, winter moths have returned to the area, clustering around porch lights and even sneaking inside.

They may seem just a fluttering nuisance, but these insects are real monsters when it comes to trees.

The moths, which were first identified in the region about three years ago, are laying eggs now. Their offspring will hatch in the spring and become hungry caterpillars, feasting on the leaves of hardwood trees and some bushes. Eventually, if the moths aren't stopped in the next few years, many trees will die.

UMass experts say they have the solution for the problem, but funding for it was cut by Governor Romney. They're hoping that a new administration will get their funding restored, Globe West reports today.

-- Lisa Kocian

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