• Gypsy moths return to parts of Massachusetts

    By: Evan White

    Updated:

    FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - Gypsy moth invasion is back.  The tiny caterpillars are chewing away at leaves and causing pain for certain people who get too close. 

    If there is one thing good about this persistent rain, experts say it’s keeping down the gypsy moth population – though it's too early to tell if the season will be as bad as years past.

    Justin Kapust of Framingham had the audacity to work on his yard.

    "We had one warm day, and 8 hours later I broke out," Kapust said, who was working near an oak tree and favorite feasting ground for the scourge of gypsy moth larvae. "It's terrible […] it's like little needles are under your skin."

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    Kapust happily gardened for years until last summer when he first broke out. His doctor said he was allergic to gypsy moths.

    "The hairs just sort of stick under the skin and rip off their bodies," Kapust said.

    He's wrapped his trees with special glue to catch the crawling caterpillars, but it doesn't hold up well in the rain.

    Now, it's just the early part of the season and Kapust says he just came in contact with one of the gypsy moth caterpillars, but he says his oak tree and others in the neighborhood are loaded with them. 

    Tree warden Kyle Grendell says Framingham, like many towns and cities in pockets of the state, are still under a gypsy moth siege four years after an outbreak first hit.

    "You name it, they're not picky, they'll eat it all," Grendell said.

    The only reprieve may be found in the rain, which Grendell says fuels a fungus that kills gypsy moths.

    Kapust, for one, would like that, so he can work in his yard pain-free. 

    "You have to hope for rainy weather," Kapust said. "And this is no fun."

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