The Department of Environmental Management said those moths you’ve spotted covering the porch light these past few weeks are an invasive winter moth. These male moths are on the hunt for flightless females.
These nonnative invasive moths have emerged since late November and the DEM expects to receive additional sighting reports through the end of the year.
They do most of their damage in the spring as caterpillars, when they munch on leaves, nearly stripping trees of their leaves. Then trees use their stored energy supplies to grow a second flush of leaves, which is stressful.
The DEM and collaborating researchers are trying to control the invading moth with a parasitic fly that feeds exclusively on winter moths. They expect it will take several years for the parasitic fly population to catch up with the winter moths.
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