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Rain, Rain, Keep the Gypsy Moths Away!

HANOVER TOWNSHIP — It’s been a rainy start to the month of May and while that may be bad news for some, forestry officials say it’s good news for fo...
gypsy moths

HANOVER TOWNSHIP -- It's been a rainy start to the month of May and while that may be bad news for some, forestry officials say it’s good news for folks dealing with gypsy moths.

Experts say the rain can slow the growth of the pesky creatures and help germinate spores of a disease-causing fungus that kills gypsy moths.

Folks living in part of Hanover Township near Nanticoke in Luzerne County know all too well the toll gypsy moths can take.

"That was devastating and horrible and everyone in this area went through this horrifying experience. We don't ever want to have that problem again. We want them gone forever!" said Cathy Cirko of Hanover Township.

Last year, the bugs damaged trees, yards, homes and more in the area.

This year, neighbors have banded together to hire workers to spray their properties.

"I have to pay for my own land up here. I have seven acres all together, and I have to pay maybe $300-$400 and I intend to if this won't happen. I don't want what we had last year,” said Donald Ricko of Hanover Township.

State forestry officials say gypsy moths have already started hatching in some areas. They predicted a bad year this year in terms of the pests, but this rainy stretch could mean fewer problems.

“We're hoping about the rain that it is a helpful thing for us, that we won't even need an aerial drop if that occurs. Fingers are crossed,” said Cirko.

Folks living in this neighborhood say they'll move forward with the spraying and keep their fingers crossed hoping the rain makes a difference. If it doesn't, they say they know they're in big trouble this year.

"If we get the rain, it's gonna help and if it doesn't, if we don't get the rain, we're going to get overrun. It's supposed to be 10 times worse than it was last year,” said Ricko.