Forest Tent Caterpillar Invasion!

9 Jun 2017 Wildlife Stories

forest tent caterpillars on tree
The forest tent caterpillar infestation has hit a new level of madness, and I hope this year will finally be the peak.

A forest tent caterpillar plague?

Caterpillars have been dropping like rain out of the whispering aspen trees and marching en masse across every part of our cottage property.

I’m pretty easy going when it comes to cabin bugs, but thousands of caterpillars crawling all over the cabin, deck, outdoor shower, etc. is a bit too much.

Fortunately, the assault should be short-lived and our little crawling friends will soon be in their cocoons.

As an interesting scientific note, my father has been studying the caterpillars as they make their way along the deck, and he is convinced they always pass each other on the right side when a head-on collision appears inevitable.

Yes, you guessed it. That’s what our happy hour is all about these days.

Moths on the way
The onslaught of moths is sure to be just as impressive in the coming weeks.

Those, at least, are mostly active at night and the sight of thousands of mini-butterflies is somehow more acceptable than the wriggling furry caterpillars.

Tough on the trees
The trees are really taking a beating, with many nearly stripped bare by the voracious caterpillars.

You get a sense of the scale of the infestation when you look up into the forest and see dozens of trees that are void of foliage when they should be full and green.

forest tent caterpillar damage

Check out our Forest Tent Caterpillar Facts page to get an in-depth look at the lifecycle.

We also have a page that provides tips on how to get rid of forest tent caterpillars.

Written and photographed by: Andrew S. Walker


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