LANSING (CBS DETROIT/AP) — Michigan trees could suffer this summer due to attacks from the leaf-munching Gypsy moth.

The Department of Natural Resources says the invasive pest caused widespread defoliation in the state from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s.

The moth feasts on foliage during its caterpillar stage. Officials say lots of caterpillars are hatching this spring.

Leaf loss has been reported in Barry, Ionia and Washtenaw counties. The problem is expected to spread in the next coming weeks.

DNR forest health specialist James Wieferich says the best way to protect trees is to promote their overall health. Forest pests target trees stressed from drought, old age or root damage.

photo of a Gypsy Moth cocoon on a tree branch – Image

Mature trees usually can withstand gypsy moth defoliation and simply grow more leaves. But they can suffer if it happens year after year.

© 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments