They're baaaack: Spongy moth caterpillars return with new name, same drama
Live call-in discussion: Many Vermonters are noticing an influx of spongy moth larvae on their trees — and in some cases, on their bodies. Recent dry conditions limited the presence of a fungus that naturally kills the invasive species, leading to an overabundance of the tiny caterpillars that chomp through the leaves of deciduous trees.
The moth, known by the scientific name Lymantria dispar, went through a rebranding earlier this year as part of the Entomological Society's Better Names Project. Its previous name contained a racial slur.
This hour, we speak with an insect expert and a forester about what this year’s infestation means for Vermont’s deciduous trees. We'll also share some tips for keeping the pests at bay.
Our guests are:
- Judy Rosovsky, state entomologist, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
- Tim Smith, city forester and arborist, Rutland
Broadcast live at noon on Wednesday, May 18, 2022; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.