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Invasion of Gypsy Moth Caterpillars

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...

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.