Hey, there! Log in / Register

Spring forecast: Squishy, with extended periods of grossness

I went out for takeout tonight and the winter moths were EVERYWHERE. Feh! But as bad as they were tonight, look for really gross conditions this spring as their caterpillars hatch, eat all the leaves on every tree around and then drop to the ground, gorged beyond belief and ready to pupate. Just like last spring, only worse. Where'd they come from? Europe, from which they probably hitched a ride on some unsuspecting cargo ship or plane a few years ago.

The University of Massachusetts's winter moth fact sheet has plenty of fun facts, such as: Female moths don't fly, but instead attract the winged males to their boudoirs with plenty of moth perfume.

How many are out there? Childs said, "Probably billions."

Free tagging: 


Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!


God no. Those caterpillars decimated the trees in my neighborhood in Hyde Park last year.

Here I was, feeling bad for one of the moths I found in the snow on Christmas, and trying to "rescue it." I should have squashed that thing when I had the chance!

Voting closed 0

So how do we kill these winged, perfume-drunk insects? I got home tonight and they were plastered all over the side of my house, attracted by the front porch lights. KILL KILL KILL!!!!!

Voting closed 0

Actually, there are three similar-looking species of moths that have been showing up in November-December around these parts, and two are native to America. That photo might not be one of those winter moths - just the other night I found a native fall cankerworm moth. Of course your oak tree probably doesn't care whether the things munching on its leaves are native or not.

Also, it's not just that the females don't fly, it's that they *can't* - they're either completely or nearly wingless. I have photographed a few of the moths this season and posted them on Flickr, and you can read more about the moth invasion at my weblog.

Voting closed 0