Connections: What you need to know about the LDD moth infestation
If you’ve recently seen unseasonably barren trees or trees covered in caterpillars, it’s likely due to the recent infestation of Lymantria Dispar Dispar -- or LDD -- moths in Upstate New York. You may know them by their more common name, gypsy moths, prior to the push to change it due to the reference to a culturally offensive slur. The state DEC says the population of the moths this spring is the highest it has been in about three decades. The invasive caterpillars munch on leaves and shower their excrement at a rate that some say sounds like rain.
Homeowners are concerned about the long term health of their trees, and representatives in the local tourism industry worry about what the infestation could mean for places like the Finger Lakes. An uptick in a virus that kills the moths could curb the invasion, but in the meantime, what should property owners do? This hour, we’re joined by experts who tell us what we need to know about the infestation of LDD moths. Our guests:
- Marci Muller, horticulture program leader with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County
- Ann Hajek, professor of entomology at Cornell University
- Rob Cole, forester with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
- Gary Raffel, arborist with Bartlett Tree
- Laura Seymour, interior stylist and artist who has a problem with LDD moths in her neighborhood