They're Hairy, They're Hungry, They're Here

Officials in the Pacific Northwest fight to repel the Asian gypsy moth

HELICOPTERS FANNED OUT OVER MORE THAN 30,000 acres of the state of Washington last week in an emergency campaign to repel an airborne assault launched from across the Bering Sea. No, the ex-Soviet Union had not reconstituted itself and invaded. Instead the object of the search-and-destroy spraying mission was the Asian gypsy moth, which in its caterpillar stage is notorious for devouring the leaves of perhaps 600 varieties of trees and shrubs.

At least 35 of the pests entered the U.S. and British Columbia last fall, apparently as hitchhikers aboard a group of Russian freighters. The newly hatched caterpillars climbed up...

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