NESCOPECK -- It's that time of year again. Gypsy moths are back and they're infesting parts of northeastern and central Pennsylvania.
If you thought the greenery of the mountains near Nescopeck is turning brown simply because the trees are old and dying, you thought wrong.
Officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Forestry believe gypsy moths are to blame for the loss of leaves on these trees.
Lori Lowery of Nescopeck is all too familiar with the problem. She lives directly in front of these mountains.
"Somebody spray it and investigate it before the mountain is totally bare," said Lowery.
Forestry officials plan to fly over Luzerne and Columbia Counties in the next two weeks to map out the hardest hit sections. But they say it's too late to spray the trees this year.
However, Mandy Lehman runs the Nescopeck Agway, and she says there are some things homeowners can do to fight the bugs.
"One of the simplest things a homeowner can do is to purchase a roll of burlap similar to this, tie it around the trunk of the tree about chest height, cut off the burlap to create an apron," said Nescopeck Agway owner Mandy Lehman.
Lehman says the gypsy moths will walk up into the burlap and get stuck. There are also sprays and goos that can be used.
"When an area's infested, you'll see them crawling all over the trunk of the tree and you might see pieces of leaves littered on the ground," said Lehman.
It's hard to see on camera but this area right there is already losing a lot of leaves and turning brown, and that has neighbors scared that the gypsy moths might spread.
A picture shows gypsy moths all over a tree near Berwick.
Lowery says if the mountains become totally bare, "it'll move right into town here and eat our regular trees."
Officials from the Department of Forestry plan to do some aerial mapping sometime in the next two weeks to pinpoint the areas where the gypsy moths have invaded and to see what they can do to fight the problem.