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RI Department of Environmental Management
DEM SAYS PARTS OF NORTHEASTERN RHODE ISLAND CAN EXPECT GYPSY MOTH CATERPILLAR DAMAGE THIS MONTH
Infestation is Localized, and Will End Before Fourth of July Holiday
PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management says that forested areas in the northeastern corner of the state can expect moderate to heavy damage from gypsy moth caterpillars this month. The hardest hit areas will be in eastern North Smithfield and the northern tip of Lincoln in the area of Albion. Areas along Route 99 extending in to Cumberland and trees in Woonsocket may be defoliated. The woodlands to the southwest of the Woonsocket Reservoir in Smithfield toward Route 7 can also expect localized heavy defoliation. Except for those areas, Providence County in general, will see light to moderate caterpillar activity.
The infestation is not a significant threat to the state's forest resources; however it does present a nuisance to homeowners who reside in heavily infested areas.
A licensed arborist who also holds a pesticide applicator's license from the state can offer recommendations for treating an infested landscape, or homeowners can just wait it out. The infestation will be about over by the end of June.
Last year, statewide damage from gypsy moth caterpillars was slight, although there were several neighborhood pockets of defoliation. Two years ago gypsy moths defoliated about 3,000 acres in North Smithfield and Lincoln.