LANSING -- Following defoliation by gypsy moth caterpillars last year across much of the northern Lower Peninsula, residents across the state may start to notice the loss of leaves on oak, aspen and maple trees again this year.
Gypsy moths are an invasive species, a term for non-native pests that can cause harm to native species and ecosystems. In its caterpillar life stage, the insect is a voracious leaf eater. Large numbers of gypsy moth caterpillars caused widespread defoliation in the state from the mid-1980s to the early 1990s. A large population in 2020 may lead to more caterpillars hatching this spring in localized areas across Lower Michigan.