NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A moth outbreak is causing trees to lose their needles in the Cibola National Forest. Officials say larvae of the Tussock moth feeds month needles from last year that are on the forest floor. They say Douglas Fir, White Fir, and even some Ponderosa Pine appear brown because of it.
They say this can leave the trees prone to other attacks by bark beetles that may kill the tree tops or even entire trees. Officials also warn that touching the caterpillars could lead to allergic skin reactions form the tiny hairs that cover their bodies.