The Cape Cod Times is reporting that scientists are concerned that a browntail moth (Euproctis chrysorrhoea) population explosion is on the horizon for Cape Cod. As the ISW first posted back in March 2004, the introduced moths have been known only in Maine and Cape Cod since the 1960s. Populations on Cape Cod have remained lowsince then. A research project by Dr. Joseph Elkinton concluded that the moth does well in coastal environments because the parasitic flies that would normally attack it cannot survive in such harsh conditions.
Dr. Elkinton has advised the Cape Cod National Seashore that they should be working to get rid of the moth now, before it becomes a problem. The caterpillars are already a known nuisance, as they have bodies covered with tiny hairs that may cause allergic reactions in some people.