Massachusetts residents have been seeing the blizzard of fluttering winter moths flocking to headlights, porch and outdoor lights.
It’s that time of year again: winter moths and other related species have started to show up at lights across the state.
The winter moth (Operophtera brumata) is an invasive species first discovered in Massachusetts in the 1990s. Winter moth caterpillars are highly efficient tree defoliators, often stripping the leaves of oaks, maples and other hardwood trees down to lacy skeletons.
In mid-to-late fall, at a time of year where insect activity is practically at a standstill, these small brown winter moths will be seen across the eastern half of the state, sometimes congregating at porch lights by the hundreds.