DNR: Full-on forest tent caterpillar invasion won’t be happening this summer

The icky army worms are coming … but won’t be in full force this year.

15 Comments

Beverly

about 2 years ago

I figured this was the case because I didn't see the moths in the fall. I noticed that the last big army worm year, but I didn't know in the fall what was going on. I have told my family I'm going to a hotel when the army worms come back. We live in the woods and it's terrible, like Shelob's lair.

EvilResident

about 2 years ago

I'm going to barf.

in.dog.neato

about 2 years ago

We dodged a slippery gooey smelly slimy bullet.

Claire

about 2 years ago

Thank you, god or goddess.

Jay

about 2 years ago

Perhaps it's because no one stopped them from crop-dusting the hillside a year ago with "safe" chemicals that you were advised to hide your children's toys from and not expose your pets to.

bluenewt

about 2 years ago

The stuff they sprayed on the hillside to combat gypsy moths was a bacteria, BtK. BtK is widely used by organic gardeners and is toxic only to moths, butterflies, and caterpillars. They advised keeping pets inside so they wouldn't be freaked out by the annoying low-flying plane. They advised putting toys and cars inside so people wouldn't have to deal with washing off the BtK residue. Gypsy moths have devastated forests in Wisconsin, and the state is trying to slow their progress in Minnesota. There was an infestation in the hillside area, and they were trying to knock it out.

Jay

about 2 years ago

The more you know... (still think it was sketchy, but...) Thanks!

Mary

about 2 years ago

Thank goodness.

bluenewt

about 2 years ago

BtK has drawbacks. It kills "good" caterpillars, too. But they tried to spray it when caterpillars like monarchs wouldn't be likely to be around. I'd like to know whether the aerial bombardment was successful.

The Big E

about 2 years ago

We had a big freakout a few years ago by mistaking mourning cloak caterpillars for gypsy moth caterpillars. That was good fun.

The Big E

about 2 years ago

Meanwhile, back to the subject at hand, I note the following: The one exception to this was that enough egg masses were found in the parking lot of the Burning Tree Plaza in Duluth. To which I say, aw shucks, I guess I'll try to avoid the mall all summer.

ian

about 2 years ago

I cringe thinking about riding the Munger during the last infestation... Some spots felt like riding on ice. Blech!

De man

about 2 years ago

It will be interesting to ride the Timber Twister next time there is a large outbreak.

bluenewt

about 2 years ago

We rode through a plague of them on the Munger Trail, too, Ian. It was disgusting. They got their revenge, too, for our running them down. Their mangled bodies got tangled in every part of the bikes' works, and we never were able to clean all the gore off.

michellep

about 2 years ago

Argh. The previous invasion was terrifying to all senses. Hearing? Realizing the sound in the forest wasn't rain, but a rain of caterpillar poo. Touch? Walking through that silk? *Shudder* Sight? I don't really have to go there, but, man...I'm not sure what was worse, the greasy streets with worm gut gore or watching custodial staff shovel 8 inches of the white moths off the sidewalks in front of the casino downtown. Smell? Do you remember the smell of the dead moths? I do. I couldn't enter the Campus Center doors at UMD for years without reminders of the ground-in dead moths. Ewwww! Taste? I never ate one. But my husband (then boyfriend... and I still married him?) split one with a friend. Thinking about it still makes me puke a little bit in my mouth. Major gross-out all around. And now I have kids so I have to put up a brave front around bugs. We'll see how that works out when the little bastards come back.

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