This summer has been a nightmare. A waking nightmare. For anyone whose nightmare images are hairy crawling things coming to get you, we had’em. A LOT of them. Everywhere. Falling from the trees and the eaves. Writhing underfoot.

When one day, we woke up to find our world covered — and I mean really covered — in gypsy moth caterpillars, it was the beginning of nightmare time for me and a lot of other people. Not only do they defoliate all the hardwood trees — with oak being a particular favorite — but they get into everything. They slither around your house, piggyback on your pets, crawl down your collar. They are also ever so slightly poisonous.

A quick contact with one can leave you with raised welts that hurt and itch for weeks.


Now, the caterpillars are done with us for the year. The leaves are coming back and finally, even the naked tall oaks are looking more like trees and less like skeletons.


There are still a lot of moths out there laying eggs. I don’t know whether or not next year will be a rerun. If yes, it will be a very bad year for the trees.

The hot weather we’re currently having (it’s going up to almost 100 today) will help destroy some of the egg. A decent amount of rain would help even more.


Nightmare? My nightmare is caterpillars. Everywhere … and when the world is quiet, you can hear them eating the trees. That’s my nightmare … and it was real.

DAILY PROMPT | Nightmare

Categories: Gallery, Home, Humor, Photography, Summer

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15 replies

  1. That is them on your house foundation?! I must not have looked that closely at the photos you posted, because that one gave me the willies!


  2. Eeewwwwww! That is a nightmare. I don’t think I could be there, live there. Yes, nightmare. Hope it’s better next year.


  3. Very scary to see how many on the house. Now that will give me nightmares.


  4. Wow, you’ve described them but to see that mass of them on the side of the house…


  5. If you had ever posted the one where they’re swarming on the bottom of the house before, I must have missed it. That photo makes my skin crawl…. ick!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It was a nightmare indeed!


  7. It’s good to see leaves on the trees again, hopefully not laden with moth eggs! I hope that second spraying you talked about will help keep the eggs to a minimum and that this won’t happen again next year!


    • There will be two more sprayings … one in the fall, probably September and another in March. But I think we may keep up a regular pattern of spraying because it is also helping to keep the mosquitoes in check, something that has become more important since the plague knocked out most of our local bats. I hope it doesn’t happen again. I gather they’ve moved into northern Maine which is really BAD because pine doesn’t tolerate defoliation and will die from just one event. I hope it’s not too bad there and someone has the sense to spray. But the area is poor … so … who knows. New England isn’t big on prophylactic and proactive.


  8. Those photos give me nightmares. Glad I’m not the one living through it, and hope it all ends soon for you. Did the exterminator help? Or did the nasty critters all come back?


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