I’m not especially afraid of insects. I don’t like them, but unlike Marilyn, they don’t really frighten me. Except — right now, it’s a bad science fiction movie outside. An alien invasion. I hope this is as bad as it’s going to get. It’s pretty bad.


Yesterday, I took my yellow car to the car wash. Today, it’s covered with gypsy moth caterpillars. Again. The house, which Owen power-washed last week, is covered with them, too. And the excrement they leave behind.

The oak trees have no leaves. It’s eerie.


Marilyn is refusing to go outside. At all. The dogs don’t want to go out either which is a first. The only time they don’t like going out normally is in very heavy rain or full blizzard conditions. Otherwise, they’re always happy to romp, bark, and run around.

Not now, though.


I went out and took some pictures. Marilyn thought I was very brave. By the time I was back inside, I felt brave too. Even braver after picking off the caterpillars trying to crawl down my neck and through what’s left of my hair.

Bring on the cavalry to break the siege!


You would think, given the scope of the problem — we made Fox News without a murder … all we needed were a massive invasion of  gypsy moth caterpillars defoliating our oak trees. You might think our town might be offering some kind of help to besieged homeowners. Even advice would be helpful, right? Sympathy?

When questioned, they suggested we Google it.

Some other town resident, equally besieged (but clearly not living in an actual oak woods) pointed out that 2 teaspoons of Murphy’s Oil added to two quarts of water and sprayed on the caterpillars will kill them. How much Murphy’s Oil do you figure we’d need to clean up 2-1/2 acres of oak woods  contiguous to 40 acres of oaks woods — owned by the county?

Our little town has been raising taxes at the rate of no less than 2% per years. Taxes, since 2000, have gone up more than 400%.

We have no sewers. No public transportation. No city water. In this area, no street lights or sidewalks. No dog officer, though they want us to pay a tax on our dogs anyway (I do not agree). For all practical purposes, there’s also no police force and our fire department is volunteer — except for the “chief.” When we were locked in our house by ice, we were told there was no help. Too bad, you old folks. Hope you’ve got enough food to last until the ice breaks!


If the woods were on fire, they’d suggest we buy a longer garden hose.

Fire is indeed one of the best weapons against gypsy moth caterpillars. Marilyn’s been Googling this. She assures me there are many suggestions for using a blowtorch to kill the caterpillars or melt egg masses.

Blow torches.

I had a sudden mental image of The Flash and his Super Gang coming to Uxbridge to save us from the caterpillars. Burning the town to the ground, and leaving while slapping each other on the back for a job well done. Yeah!

You think insurance would pay damages after the League of Superheroes leaves?

Categories: Garry Armstrong, Humor, Nature, Photography

Tags: , , , , , ,

77 replies

  1. Marilyn and Garry, I know it’s not politically correct nor ecologically either. We have already in early June, in Delaware, Ohio had the bug bombs (aimed at Gypsy Moths) go off.
    Luckily, the bees, wasps and other bugs were going crazy still when I drove up to my Mom’s senior living apartment building on July first.
    Our nine days together end tomorrow and then back to work! Hope Garry gets relief from itching and the Gypsy Moths don’t eat all the foliage! Yikes!


    • They never eat ALL the foliage, but they totally stripped the oaks and a good many of the maples before they became moths. Now, they are just flying around, laying eggs in case they feel like doing a rerun next year. At this point, bombing sounds just FINE to me. Amazing how ones perspective alters in the face of a million hungry, hairy caterpillars!


  2. I’m seeing this much later than when you posted it, but I am hopeful that you finally got rid of those creatures. We have little moths that eat our clothes and can’t seen to get ride of them, but yours look like cannibals. Are you both doing well? I send you “vibes” of power and love.


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