Cold, wet weather keeps gypsy moths at bay in Pa.

     A gypsy moth caterpillar eats a leaf on a tree Tuesday in Trenton, N.J., in this 2007 photo. Pennsylvania officials intend to spray in four counties to protect trees from the pests. (AP photo/Mel Evans)

    A gypsy moth caterpillar eats a leaf on a tree Tuesday in Trenton, N.J., in this 2007 photo. Pennsylvania officials intend to spray in four counties to protect trees from the pests. (AP photo/Mel Evans)

    Pennsylvania conservation officials say the cool, wet weather has helped stem a feared gypsy moth resurgence in the state, but aerial spraying is still planned in four counties.The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said Thursday that the spraying will be conducted on 42 tracts totaling more than 1,900 acres in Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford and Venango counties.

    Last spring, more than 43,000 acres were sprayed in northwest and north-central sections of the commonwealth. This spring, only private land will be sprayed at owners’ request.

    Before last spring, the department last sprayed in 2009 for the destructive pest, which as a caterpillar most affects oak, apple, sweet gum, basswood, birch, poplar and willow trees. Older larvae also feed on hemlock, pines, spruces, southern white cedar and other conifers.

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