The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has published a map showing the extent of the 2016 gypsy moth outbreak. Individual outbreaks were heavily concentrated to the 4 eastern counties – Middlesex, New London, Windham and
Tolland Counties. Along with this map, the Station has published an updated Gypsy Moth Fact Sheet. These publications can be found on the CAES website at: www.ct.gov/caes/gypsymoth.
The Station should have numbers regarding acreage later in the week.
As for the outlook for 2017 – it depends. In those areas that suffered extensive defoliation in 2016, people should expect a large hatch of caterpillars. Egg masses in those areas are widespread and numerous.
The big question is what will happen as these caterpillars get older and move into the later instars. This is when the bulk of the defoliation occurs. Will we have had enough rain by then to activate the maimaiga fungus? Will the NPV virus spread through the population, killing off the caterpillars as they become crowded? This is hard to predict and is something we will just have to wait to see what happens.
It will be helpful, as we move into the season, for arborists to let the Experiment Station know if they note that the gypsy moth population is being knocked back in an area or if it seems to be moving into a new area.
The US Drought Monitor continues to show Connecticut as being in a drought. The drought is most severe in western parts of the state, but does cover the whole state.