Skip to comments.Hungry caterpillars - Massachusetts being devoured - One species is sated; 3 still ravaging leaves
Posted on 06/21/2005 4:12:09 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
......................''It's a very huge outbreak," Joseph Elkinton, an entomologist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, said yesterday. ''The main thing going on is winter moths. Most of the defoliation you see on the South Shore and on Cape Cod is winter moths, and that caterpillar has finished its feeding."
......The infestation is not as severe in the Boston area as it is to the south, and it is not quite as bad as in the 1980s, when gypsy moth caterpillars were more widespread and were found everywhere from sidewalks to screen doors.
Robert Childs, also an entomologist at UMass-Amherst, said this year's outbreak brought varieties of caterpillars he has never seen before.
New this year is the infestation of winter moth caterpillars, which was found in coastal towns from Gloucester to Boston and throughout Southeastern Massachusetts.
It looks like a green inchworm, and some people mistook it for a cankerworm. But unlike some more familiar caterpillars, the pest is not likely to be offset here by natural causes, such as a bird that considers it food. Researchers are still working on ways to control the large number of winter moth caterpillars in the region.
Last month, for example, hundreds of small flies, raised on a mixture of sports drink and hummingbird nutrient, were released in Wompatuck State Park in Hingham.
The parasitic fly, a natural enemy of the winter moth, was expected to destroy more than 200,000 of the billions of moths out there, specialists said.
This year's infestation also includes at least four perennials: the gypsy moth, a blue-spotted pest that likes oak leaves; the native three-legged cankerworm, which likes to munch on maples in the spring and summer; and the forest and Eastern tent caterpillars, .................
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
Global warming must be lurking in this mix.
It'll be interesting to see how enviroweenies wage war.
Or high on all the marijuana.
No surprise to me, after all we all know Ted has eaten the worm a few times.
My plan is working. Chew my pretties, chew.
This should keep Mass LIBERALS occupied for awhile.
I remember in the early 80's how the gypsy moth caterpillars almost completely devoured all the trees in western mass. I was racing in Upstate New York, and every week on our ride out on the Mass Pike, we could clearly see how much they had eaten. By the middle of August, the trees were almost as bare as in winter
(whatever the hell that means)
They wiped out eastern Mass and southern New Hampshire, too.
and it is not quite as bad as in the 1980s, when gypsy moth caterpillars were more widespread and were found everywhere from sidewalks to screen doors
This brings back memories! Trucks cruising around spraying eveything in sight with pesticides, guys with homemade flamethrowers taking out entire trees to kill one nest. You couldn't walk 2 feet with squishing 500 of those things, and they would spray their guts everywhere. I have some funny memories of these little terrors. When I was a kid they were used as slingshot ammo or were scooped up in handfuls and dumped in the nearest girls hair.
It seemed like it was always raining, because you could hear their poop falling through what was left of the leaves.
My little brother used to fill big clear bgas of them and ride his bike over the bag. They were everywhere.
What kind of wine goes with Massachusetts?
I remember that too!!
Every tree had duct tape wrapped around their trunks so the little critters couldnt make it to the leaves..They were YUCK!
LOL! Didn't I say Liberals? I was sure that I meant to.
I guess no one told the moth.
I guess Mass. faired better in the 90s when Bill and Hillary ruled the country.
Sounds pretty creepy!
Well, if JFK had been elected President, paraplegics would be walking and these moths would not dare be doing what they are doing. :)
I remember the infestion of gypsy moths in our area of Southern NH in May/June of 1981. It was awful. We have mostly oak trees in our area and the trees were totally denuded by the first of June. Once the oaks were gone, the little buggers started chowing down on everything else. Our screen door was continually covered with hundreds of them. Our house was coated from the foundation half way up to the 2nd floor. They attached themselves to the screens on our windows. You could actually stand out back on our deck and watch them crawling by the thousands from the back lawn towards the house. You could also hear the clicking sounds of hundreds of them feeding in the trees. It was weird. Our son was just a baby and every time I'd take him out, I'd have to take a broom to the screen and walkway and clear a path to the car. Had to do the same when we came home. It was like something out a Hollywood science fiction/horror movie...Plus, it was just plain gross..
I know this is a political website, but it never ceases to amaze me how people can mix a story about caterpillars with completely unrelated politics.
It's a joke.
Retaliation for the twisting and defining the Left does to the right.
Ha Ha......Get it?
Because humor and sarcasm makes politics fun for some of us. Lots of fun.
Too bad they dont eat US Senators from MA!
The voters of Mass need to chew up and spit out their U.S. Senators.
Yeah, I am one who enjoys the humor as well, but it always seems as though whenever the article involves Mass, my home state, people always equate the entire state with gay marriage, kennedy & kerry. The state may be 60%+ lib, but there are lots of us good blue-state conservaties fighting the beast from within.
Maybe I am just being overly sensitive this morning. I need more coffee.
I am better at taking something political and degrading the thread into something completely unrelated.
I need coffee too. Since day old 7-11 coffee tastes like Starbucks, I'm going to get some :-)
Leave them alone. That is nature at its best. Were it not for man there would be no problem. Anyway, global warming will soon, a few thousand years, make winter moths extinct.
Those look like grasshoppers to me.
'Naw, I share your pain. Same here in MI for the most part. In fact, look at it this way - I'm jealous of you because my gov & senators are amongst the lamest in the nation, but nobody beats up on them on a national level and I (we) never get a chance to pile on!
Obviously he/she didn't. I shouldn't complain, I just griped that a thread of a good Thomas Sowell article was hijacked to a beer discussion. However, that is not quite like getting a kick out of the libs suffering from their own policies.
I used to go to Mass a lot. During the first Reagan election everyone but the elite, politicians and professors, were for Reagan though you would never know it unless you were there.
Excellent profile page and a great looking family.
We had a 17-year locust infestation back in 1996. Creepiest thing I ever heard/saw.
What ever Ted is drinking at the moment.
We had 17 year cicadas last year here in Maryland.
Don't drive after doing it though, Ted alone is 200 proof.
We are having a MAJOR gypsy moth infestation here in Pike County, PA - - northern part of the Poconos. All the oak trees are stripped bare as are some of the maple trees in our yard. Nearby there is nothing green at all except for the mountain laurel which is in full bloom.
Mass is definitely a stronghold for Professors & elitist snobs with all the colleges & universities. The liberal catholic and union types have a lock on eastern Mass as well, but "out west" where I grew up, a Reagan campaign banner was much more common than that of the opposition.
In 1997 they hit Ohio pretty hard. Along the Ohio Turnpike most of the oaks were bare in early July...most re-foliated by fall but it seemed like it took a good 2-3 growing seasons for them to return to normal.
Well let's just point them to Ted Kennedy-after they feast on him they'll leave the trees alone...