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.