The noises you're hearing are the cries of thousands of Massachusetts homeowners and the entire Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation. They've all read an article similar to this one from The Upper Cape Codder, about how we should expect at least 5 years of massive tree and shrub defoliation due to the invasion of the European winter moth (Operophtera brumata). After that, scientists are hoping that they will be ready to release populations of a biological control (Cyzenis albicans) to keep the moth in check. Check out the article for information about uncovering signs of winter moth infestations and tips on how to protect trees.
In a few weeks, anyone that saw massive congregations of moths at their porch light this winter (mostly southeastern Massachusetts) is likely to be inundated by tiny, hungry caterpillars. They don't seem very picky about what they eat so most plants will be vulnerable. You can read more about the history of this invader from UMass Extension.
Bonus points to the Mass. media for keeping the scientific name of the moth in their articles.
I will never understand why the government insists on introducing forign species to combat forign species.
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