Invasion of Gypsy Moth Caterpillars

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HANOVER TOWNSHIP -- On this hot spring day, Cathy Cirko's family can't use her own pool near off Tomko Avenue in Hanover Township.

Thousands of gypsy moth caterpillars have taken it over. Some floated on top, others have sunk to the bottom in clumps.

"The gypsy moths are swimming  instead of my grandchildren,” Cirko said.

In fact, Cirko can't even stand still in her own back yard, located near Wilkes-Barre, because she's "inundated" with the gypsy moth caterpillars.

The gypsy moth caterpillars are also on top of her BBQ grill, in her plants, and crawling on the side of her house. Some are also chewing on trees, killing them.

"They ate the foliage from the trees, now they're coming down looking for more,” Cirko said.

And the critters aren't just causing problems for that home. They're on almost every home on Tomko Avenue, crawling on walls, onto the roads and people here are calling it a health hazard. Cirko said she was bitten by some and has a rash on her arm from the incident.

“They drop on top of the doors onto your back or in your hair,” said Mary Budurka of Hanover Township.

Budurka has the creepy crawlers everywhere from the top of her home's door to the bottom of its foundation.

"I would not wish this one anyone, and no one will help. They think we have 15 of them, we don't have 15 of them, we have thousands of them,” Budurka said.

Newswatch 16 placed several calls to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, but we didn’t get any answers, either. Meanwhile, people who live on Tomko Avenue have seen this problem before.

"I would like to see an airdrop, because we went through this about 25-30 years ago, and the only thing that helped us out was an air drop,” Cirko said.


  • whatever831

    My kids can’t play outside either, all my trees are bare, and all the trees on the mountain are bare. It looks like fall! I’ve tried contacting spring brook township and there’s no reply. To all you idiots who say we’re crying about it, I’d love to see you and your kids dealing with this. It’s horrible!!

  • stephen

    Trugreen has a great tree and shrub program that includes insect and disease controls. contact me for more information. The gypsy moth are not even at their critical point yet.

    Stephen 570-709-6792

  • Sillyme79

    It’s all of Luzerne County. I wish they’d do something already. We’ve been waiting for summer and now we can’t even enjoy it. I’m so disgusted!

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    These things always remind me of being a kid. Riding my bike down the road, hearing them pop under the tires.

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