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Gypsy Moths' Effect On New England Trees Can Be Seen From Space

BOSTON (CBS) – Gypsy moth caterpillars are wreaking havoc on New England trees this year, so much so that the evidence is visible from space.

The National Weather Service's Boston bureau recently tweeted out satellite pictures showing the extent of the defoliation in the region.

As WBZ-TV reported earlier this month, a naturally occurring fungus that usually keeps the caterpillars away hasn't been present because of a very dry spring.

Firefighters say the caterpillars are also making it harder for them to do their job. The lack of shade means more fuel for brush fires.

Gypsy moth tree
Gypsy moth caterpillars have destroyed trees on Cape Cod (WBZ-TV)

"It will accelerate the dry fuel conditions which allows the fire to progress quicker," said Sandwich Dep. Chief J.J. Burke. "The more cover the better."

If your trees are being ravaged by the caterpillars, experts say it's already too late to spray them for protection and you should wait until next year.

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