Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Stupid very hungry caterpillar!

Our trees are infested with something called winter moths, or more precisely, the larvae that will turn into moths. These crafty little buggers turn the leaves of the trees into swiss cheese. Swiss cheese leaves are not very effective at, oh, little things like photosynthesis. Last year it was wicked bad...our trees had hardly any full leaves. We got the trees all sprayed. Okay, it didn't make the leaves come back, but the trees managed to limp through the rest of the season and most branches survived.

Yeah, now the new leaves are out, and TA DA, swiss cheese. Stupid stinkin' winter moths. Now we have to get them treated. Again. Apparently, we'll probably have to treat for years. It costs a gazillion dollars (yes, that was the official estimate), and it's not even effective in the long-term. I'm being outwitted by a caterpillar! A bug! Frick!

So, any good bug infestation stories to share? Misery loves company! I could tell about the time termites swarmed all around me in our basement and I didn't notice since I was hard at work on the computer writing a paper while I was in grad school, but that was more funny, especially since the termites didn't establish a colony in our house. I hope one day I'm amused by these winter moths, but as of right now, they mostly just make me want to declare war on nature.

Random unrelated thought: My parents are coming up this weekend, and we're all going to visit my grandparents for Mother's Day. It should be fun, I'm very much looking forward to it.

I did something I almost never do and told TK what I want for Mother's Day: Wii Fit. Of course, it's already sold out everywhere and it hasn't even been released yet :) Oh well...


Mary Ellen said...

OMG. The memories! I might start shaking at my desk! When I was a kid in CT, we had crazy gypsy moth infestations. I remember picking them out of my hair, the hood of my sweatshirt, the basket of my little bicycle...
We used to hire these tree guys to come spray our backyard in the summer and they'd come like Ghostbusters with big poison guns and it would drip from the oak leaves for days. My mother made us stay inside. Then in the fall, my father would hook a propane torch to a bamboo pole, get out his extension ladder, and try to set their little yellow egg sacs on fire. (He's kind of a character...)
They had gross green blood, which the boys smeared across the playground at recess. And they had red spots and gray hair. I swear, I know it sounds like I'm making it up, but anybody who grew up in NE in the early 80s knows what I'm talking about! I could go on and on...
Now we have "tent caterpillars" in VA, and everybody complains about them, but I know they're nothing!

maggie said... many bug stories I don't know where to begin. When I was 7 we walked into my aunt's house after having been gone for about 5 hrs and the ENTIRE house was covered in giant ants - like the biggest ants I've ever seen. Apparently the queen moved in and, with her, all her loyal subjects. She had to move out temporarily.
As a teenager I complained I always heard buzzing in my room but my parents told me I was crazy. Then my dad found a "water spot" on the ceiling in the family room. He got beneath it with a giant bucket, poked a hole and what came out? Not water -- bees. Zillions of bees. They'd eaten under the eaves and through about 5 feet of ceiling into the middle of our family room. And of course, we discovered, into my room. Not so crazy after all!

Snickollet said...

I confess to glossing over the caterpillar stuff and jumping straight to this:

Wii Fit.

What is that?! It sounds like something I "need." It sounds like video game exercise. I used to exercise with Dance, Dance Revolution on John's XBox, but I got burned out--the Wii Fit sounds like it could be my replacement for DDR. Do tell!

Giovanna said...

Yeah....we have to spray our trees too. We did it the past 2 years...this year I think we might have eaten up we have not paid for them sprayers to spray yet. I look at it as Lacey Leaves as opposed to Swiss-Cheese Leaves. :)

KCRSummertime said...

I'm with Mary Ellen, on the shudder-worthy memories of Gypsy Moths. My mom used to pay us $0.10 per every 20 caterpillars we killed. Something like that. We'd ride over them on our bikes. SO DISGUSTING. They'd be carpeting the street.

But I also like Gio's positive marketing spin on how to look at your leaves. :)