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Invasion of the Tent Caterpillars
Lens: Tamron 90mm SP Camera: K-30 Photo Location: Back of my house ISO: 800 Shutter Speed: 1/160s Aperture: F8 
Posted By: RGlasel, 06-03-2018, 05:26 PM

Some of my worst childhood memories involve tent caterpillars. Forest tent caterpillars love to munch on young leaves of white poplar trees and the farmhouse I grew up in was surrounded by lots of them on three sides. Our farm was too far north to get locust plagues, but a tent caterpillar infestation is a reasonable facsimile. From the Wikipedia article, "During outbreaks, the caterpillars can become so abundant that they are capable of completely defoliating tens of thousands of acres of forest." Living through this is even grosser. Tent caterpillars excrete sticky silk threads to drop from tree branches once they finish eating all the leaves and "Fecal pellets dropping from treetops in which the caterpillars are feeding create the auditory illusion of rainfall," so a walk in the bush was a horrible experience. Once they leave a tree, caterpillars crawl in a more or less straight line until they encounter a vertical object to climb in search of new food sources. A broom was left outside the entrance to our house to brush caterpillars off the door before we went inside and the smell of dead caterpillars created a stench that we noticed as soon as we stepped out of the school bus.

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Last edited by RGlasel; 06-03-2018 at 05:35 PM.
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06-03-2018, 05:58 PM   #2
Journeyman Cat Wrangler
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The hairs from some caterpillars (A gray moth I think,) up here in Maine causes severe asthma attacks and respiratory distress in some people, even to the point of ambulance rides and hospital treatment.
I just dislike these critters because they wreck my fruit trees and getting rid of them is hard since the birds don't seem to like eating them.

I usually just cut the branch off and put it on the brush pile to burn.
06-03-2018, 06:06 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
A gray moth
Yup, a compact, light grey moth that makes a real mess when thousands hit your vehicle.
QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
getting rid of them is hard since the birds don't seem to like eating them.
True, these caterpillars tasted awful to every bird on our farm. They are so numerous you can't exterminate them. My dad tried making a trench filled with diesel around our house and once the trench filled up with dead caterpillars, new ones crawled over top. They float so you can't drown them.
06-03-2018, 06:11 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
Yup, a compact, light grey moth that makes a real mess when thousands hit your vehicle.True, these caterpillars tasted awful to every bird on our farm. They are so numerous you can't exterminate them. My dad tried making a trench filled with diesel around our house and once the trench filled up with dead caterpillars, new ones crawled over top. They float so you can't drown them.
Maybe use the same trick as when you pour boiling water down a fire ant nest. Mix it with a lot of dish soap so the surface tension is less and they can't ball up and float over to the other side.

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