'Doggone, furry, little boogers': West Chazy man tormented by gypsy moth larvae

Walt Sears

WEST CHAZY – All of the oak trees are defoliated on the eight-acre property of Walt Sears, who lives on Beartown Road in West Chazy.

Gypsy moths are the culprit and Sears is not a fan, and he doesn't mind saying so.

“There are stretches like 100 feet or more where there were beautiful oak trees that produced the food every year, now with this invasion of this doggone, furry, little boogers they've eaten everything.”

Even his pine trees, and they're working on the maples.

“They've eaten the poplar trees. It's just insane what is going on,” he said.


Sears said he called the Department of Forestry, Department of Environmental Conservation and everybody he could think of.

“I've asked for help from anybody that could help for what should I use?” he said.

“The fellow today said to me, 'Well, just wrap everything with duct tape.' I said, 'What about the house? How do I do that?'

“They go up on top of the house. They try to get into the house They're all over my house, of all things, the mailbox. I would say there were 200 of them on it alone. It's horrible.”

Sears has lived on his property for more than 30 years.

“And never, ever, have we ever been inundated with anything other than drunks when I used to have parties,” he said.

“But they never ate the leaves either. It's horrible. I try to keep my property up, and then you get so discouraged when you come home and see up there's another tree that's gone."

The damage has Sears overly frustrated.

“I never lived anywhere in my 78 years where this kind of horrible infestation has ever occurred,” he said.

A friend, who has a smaller lot than Sears, told him it would cost $5,000 to spray to eradicate the gypsy moths.

“I can't even poop that kind of money, let alone have it on hand,” he said.

“I think the government ought to step in."

The gypsy moths will cycle from foraging caterpillars to pupate in a several weeks.

“Well, by then, I won't have any trees left,” Sears said.

“You don't see them making themselves into cocoons. They are just out eating everything. I wish I had little miniature bibs. I'll tie them on them.”

On Summer Solstice, the prognosis wasn't good.

"I have nothing to cry about, the bastards ate them all," Sears said.

"Several pines, several yews, oak trees; they're all eaten. Those fat little turds."

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