He came. He sprayed. And now … we wait for millions of invading aliens to die.


The guy from Turf Technologies says that we get the prize for the worst infestation of property he has ever seen. Anywhere. Is this an honor? Do we get a statuette?

Remember space invaders anyone? The aliens just kept coming. You kept shooting, but there were always more, and more, and more. It’s like that.

He sprayed everything — the shed, the house, the deck, the cars, the foundation. It should take an hour or so for them to start dying by the millions and then, I need my son — who is big and strong enough to manage the leaf blower — to clear the rubble away. After work.


This isn’t going to end the siege — though every little bit helps — because they are in the trees, the shrubs, cars, deck, railings, and ground. I hope this will enable us to come and go without being covered with them. Even that little would help.

During my 5 minute conversation with Chris — me in the front door and he by his truck halfway up the driveway — I had to keep a broom in my hand as the army of the hairy and hungry tried to invade the house, falling on me, and into the doorway. It’s mind-boggling.


I took some pictures through the screen door on the porch. Even with the reduced sharpness caused by the screen, if you look, you can see them on the branches and beams.

I get the feeling that Mother Nature is pissed off. I can understand it … but why us? We’ve been good.

Cross your fingers! Lets hope this works! ‘Cause if it doesn’t, I don’t know what more we can do.



    • This isn’t affecting enough people. That’s one of the big problems of rural living. When you live in the city, something like this happens and everyone hops right on it. After all, Important People live in Boston. Out here? Homeowners and farmers … and we don’t have enough clout to even get noticed. There’s no disaster relief. How am I still sane? I don’t actually have an answer to that. I don’t know.


  1. I agree with Helen… the worst infestation of property ever seen sounds like justification enough for FEMA assistance. I’d also get in touch with an agent about selling off the movie rights to this ordeal… you’ve perfectly captured the horror of it for us over the past few weeks… a national audience would pay to be scared out of their wits like this.


    • You would think so, but that would require our governor to declare a state of emergency and I doubt he has even notice that something’s going on out here in the valley. If it were in Boston, it would be a big deal. But here? They really don’t care about us. They don’t.


  2. Did they spray you as well? Just asking. This would make a great film. I so hope that the spraying has sprayed the life out of the invaders. Am looking forward to the photos of the victims. You deserve some sort of survival medal. And carry on – every surviving moth could be a mother.


    • Me too, but this street and surrounding streets are the hardest hit … I think ANYWHERE. At least right now. It could be somewhere else next year, but this is our year. The last year this bad was 1981.


  3. “The guy from Turf Technologies says that we get the prize for the worst infestation of property he has ever seen. Anywhere. Is this an honor? Do we get a statuette?” No statuette, but as the saying goes “anything worth doing, is worth doing well” and you guys did this one really, really well. So maybe you are the the champs, albeit nothing to celebrate about.


    • Owen came and blew away a million or so dead caterpillars. There are probably a million more still on the roof, alive, because they couldn’t spray that high, but when they try to climb down, they’ll hit their poison and die. So at least in the immediate vicinity of the house, there are a lot fewer live caterpillars. In any case, they’ve stripped almost all the trees, so they would start to die anyway soon … as soon as they finish off the maples. We have a couple of catalpas and an ash with leaves. Everything else has been stripped to the bark. It’s pretty weird out there. Weirder, you drive two miles west and it look normal, but east, it’s like here. I don’t know why we are ground zero. It may be because the town doesn’t spray here for mosquitoes. Or not. One way or the other, we won’t forget this summer.


        • The healthy ones will grow new leaves before summer ends. Probably not full size leaves, but enough to keep them going. Marginal trees that weren’t doing well will die as will any fir tree they attack. Firs can’t survive defoliation, not even a partial defoliation. There’s a Christmas tree farm up the road from us … I wonder how they are managing. And all the apple orchards …


  4. I hope the residue will hang around long enough to deter any new ones from moving in while your poor trees recover or will you have to replant? At least now perhaps you, Garry and the dogs can get out of the house.


    • It’s supposed to, but if it doesn’t, they’ll come back and do it again. The dogs hate it. They don’t want to go out. Must be the smell — which to us, isn’t there. But dogs, they can smell a lot more than we can. The birds seem unfazed … and for some reason, they are all over our deck. Hummingbirds, especially. The fuchsias are almost the only food in town right now.


    • Oh, they are dead. But there are lot more where these came from. Millions of them, up in the trees. They will start to die anyway because they’ve eaten almost everything they can, but even so, there are millions upon millions of them on the roof, in the trees, in the tall grass, in nooks and crannies. I don’t expect a complete removal … we have 2.5 acres full of caterpillars and we only could afford to treat the house, the shed, and the area immediately around it. I’m just hoping to move them back so we can get in and out of the house without it raining live caterpillars all over us.

      We were out today. Four miles east of here, there’s no sign of anything unusual. Right here, this street and a few others nearby — we are the bullseye on the target.


    • My son came over and used the leaf blower. The little corpses are gone from the base of the driveway, walks, and deck. It’s not over, but it’s better. This is definitely an unforgettable summer. I’m amazed that I’m able to talk about it rationally.


    • This would have been a lot funnier a month ago. They aren’t gone. But there are fewer of them. I guess that’s the best outcome I could have hoped for. {Heaving great sigh indicating exhaustion, patience, and a mad desire to run off to anyplace where the bugs aren’t.}

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