Also known as Thaumetopoea pityocampa
There has been a proliferation of 'nests' this year in my region, the Catalonian Pre-Pyrenees, but I got a big shock yesterday driving for the first time through the Boixols pass. The extensive pine forest there was decimated - literally at least 10% destruction - with great swathes
* of dead trees visible across the mountainsides.
Later in the evening on the TV there was a brief report on a nature programme - don't know which one as I don't really watch TV! - saying that this pest has burgeoned in population as a result of the warm and extremely dry winter that we have had here - not a drop of rain for 82 days now!
What's the score nationwide?
* I've been looking forward to using ths word correctly for ages, it's shame it has to be in ths context
swath |swä?; swô?| (also swathe |swäð; swôð; sw?ð|)
noun ( pl. swaths |swä?s; swô?s| or swathes |sw?ðz|)
1 a row or line of grass, grain, or other crop as it lies when mown or reaped.
• a strip left clear by the passage of a mowing machine or scythe : the combine had cut a deep swath around the border of the fields.
2 a broad strip or area of something : vast swaths of countryside | figurative a significant swath of popular opinion.
cut a swath through pass through (something) causing great damage, destruction, or change : a tornado cut a two-mile long swath through residential neighborhoods.