If you have trees on your property, especially oak trees, the news is alarming enough. A tree-killing invasive species is back in New Jersey and the bug is a growing problem.

Dino Flammia reports the bug, Lymantria dispar dispar, has triggered the Department of Agriculture to recommend spray treatments in four New Jersey counties. In 2020 there was no such recommendation.

By 2022 it was only 2 counties. Last year it was 3. So it’s a slowly growing problem. The counties they want to treat are Burlington, Cape May, Sussex and Passaic. You can read all the important info here.

More alarming to me is that this is an insect everyone has heard of but no one knows it by this scientific Lymantria dispar dispar moniker nor by the new name they gave it, the spongy moth.

Photo via Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash
Photo via Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

But if I said gypsy moths are causing problems again, most people would know exactly what I meant and might be more likely to take it seriously.

The Entomological Society of America decided a couple of years back that they had to rename the gypsy moth because gypsy was a slur. It could be offensive to Romani people.

So in the name of political correctness, they went to work trying to come up with a less offensive name. Mind you it was called a gypsy moth because of its wandering migration patterns, not as an affront to any ethnic group.

Still, facts be damned, a bunch of woke scientists came up with some 200 alternative names that wouldn’t offend anyone. They finally settled on spongy moth (I’m not so sure. I know of a lovable guy named Bob who lives in a pineapple under the sea who might take offense.)

“We are grateful to the diverse community of people and organizations who have been involved in this renaming process and have committed to adopting ‘spongy moth’ as well,” Jessica Ware, the society’s president, told CNN.

Photo via Grandbrothers
Photo via Grandbrothers

She also said public awareness is critical in slowing the spread of the spongy moth. Which has to make me ask, if public awareness were key wouldn’t it have helped to not change the name?

Or is that politically incorrect of me to point out?

19 Items Absolutely Banned from Checked Bags at the Boise Airport

You may be familiar with what you can and cannot pack in your carry-on. But how familiar with items banned from your checked luggage? These are 19 of the more than 50 items that can't fly in your checked bag according to the TSA.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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