Conn. (WTNH)– Monitoring of a species known as the spongy moth has increased after the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) noticed the abundance of them in northwestern Connecticut. 

DEEP said an increase in spongy moths means that more tree leaves are being consumed annually, which ends in one of two ways; The tree grows the leaves back before the end of the season and loses the energy it needs for the next one, or the tree dies. 

With spongy moths overpopulating the area, Connecticut Fish and Wildlife on Facebook said that many trees in Connecticut will die, meaning cleanup in some areas will be needed in the future. 

DEEP also says that spongy moths will contribute heavily to the defoliation of hardwood trees over time. 

“While most trees will refoliate initially, repeated attacks from spongy moths can weaken a tree’s natural ability to ward off secondary stressors such as drought or other insects and disease,” said Deep Director of Forestry Chris Martin. “Some people may remember that nearly 1.5 million acres were defoliated by the spongy moth in 1981, and while we lost trees, our forests recovered.” 

DEEP continued to say in their article regarding spongy moths that the state has no plans for widespread arial spraying, and individuals should seek out ways to protect their trees if they want to avoid defoliation. 

For more information on spongy moths, visit portal.ct.gov