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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Gypsy Moths

 

Gypsy Moths



The Gypsy Moth is an invasive insect that feeds on and eventually kills valuable hardwood trees.  Around 30 or more years ago, they were very prevalent in the North East.  News reports warned that trees would die, birds would not fly, and the end of life as we know it was imminent.

Well, they were pesky.  

Driving down major highways, every tree seemed to be covered by large white gypsy moth cocoons.  Stores sold sticky tape that people (myself included…hey, I’m a people) wrapped around their own trees to stop the caterpillars from climbing up and killing their trees.



I’m not sure when, but seems like after a few years the moth scourge subsided.  Trees survived, birds still did fly, and life as we knew it was pretty much the same.  I often wondered what stopped the gypsy moth infestation.  Was it something like the Seventeen-Year locust thing?  Would they come back periodically?

I recently noticed that trees were again showing those white cocoons indicating perhaps the moth was making a comeback.  I did some research and found:

A population of gypsy moths will exist for many years in low densities. When the population enters the release phase, it rapidly expands to the outbreak phase where the population size will rise several orders of magnitude and fall back within only a few generations.

Well, that explains it…damn here we go again.  Trees will die, birds won’t fly and…

WAIT!

Upon further observation I realized those destructive cocoons were not really from the gypsy moth.  They were from Shop-Rite!




That’s right, the cocoons were actually those white plastic bags that stores hand you with every purchase from a pack of gum to assorted groceries.  People toss them and the wind carries them off and they get stuck in trees.

In New Jersey, ecologists and politicians are calling for an end to these plastic bags.

Count me in!

13 comments:

  1. It's one thing after another isn't it. Yes it is.

    Have a fabulous day, Joe. ☺

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  2. One time we saw this large black bird. So we drove up close and luckily it did not fly off. It was a large black plastic bag in the limbs of a Pine tree. Them bags be dangerous.

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  3. LOL that it was a plastic bag. Its funny that California banned plastic bags for the most part and made sturdier ones that you had to buy at the grocery store if you didn't bring your own reusable ones. And then with the pandemic they basically said you couldn't bring your own reusable ones and went back to plastic bags. They need to be disposed of properly or recycled.

    betty

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  4. I remember gypsy moths in the 70’s. We had a wooded lot next to our house with their cocoons in the trees. My parents were always mad that the lot owner never took care of it. My dad used to cut down the limbs that hung over into our yard and burn them.

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  5. I do remember that infestation. Did not know it foretold the end of the world as we knew it though. Interesting that they have a cycle. That bag sure looks like one of the tents (what we called them).

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  6. We have a worm that makes it's home in a cocoon looking bag that you'll see in the trees. Actually, I think they are called bag worms. They can kill trees too but I noticed they aren't as prevalent these days. Hopefully plastic bags will follow! I like bringing my own reusable bags anyways.

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  7. Shop-Rite Gypsy Moths! Mothers, lock up your children!

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  8. Well, at least it's not the moths.

    Recycle, recycle, recycle your bags (and i refuse one if i am only buying one or two items).

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  9. Oh, no! Gum-chewers and Shop-Rite are in cahoots to end life as we know it! In other news... back when I was working, I saw the most beautiful Grecian urn sitting by the road one morning. I figured the owner had put it out for anybody who wanted it, rather than smashing it in the trash can. It was still there on the way home. I pointed it out to the boys. The Pony said, "Um. Mom. That is a sewer pipe." I guess the shadows from tree leaves had made it particularly attractive that morning.

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  10. You still get plastic bags handed out with any purchase? We have to ask for one if we want it and there's an extra charge for it, and usually they are paper bags, or the re-useable bags. Mostly we are expected to carry our own bags from home when buying something that needs to be carried home in a bag.
    "Sir, do you have your bag with you?"
    "No, left her at home today."

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  11. Why don't they make those bags out of metal? Metal is heavier and the bags will not fly in the wind.

    God bless.

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  12. I'm a fan of using my own bags ~ now that we can do that again. Those bags are a menace!

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  13. The problem is not the bags, it's the people.

    People are why we can't have things.

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