Thousands of Hungry Caterpillars and How We Outsmarted Them

Caterpillars have been invading the trees across Massachusetts. It’s an infestation.

This spring, if you stood outside in the sun, you could hear them munching on leaves and the sound of their poop hitting the leaves, below. Disgusting. 

They have ravaged the trees in the conservation land behind our house. Over a dozen trees have been left without a single leaf left. (At least fall clean up will be easier, right?)

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I took this picture yesterday. See all of the EMPTY trees?!

An older neighbor on the Cul-de Sac recommended that we wrap the trees with aluminum foil and then coat the foil with Vasaline to prevent the critters from climbing up the trees in the front yard. Dubious, Patrick and I smiled politely but had no intention of actually wrapping our trees with foil.

Then, the infestation continued for another month, and our trees well-being seemed in question. So… I nagged Patrick to give it a try, and he took Jasper out to try and protect the trees in the front yard.

It is amazing.

The creepy crawlies (known as “Squishy” by Jasper) are defeated by the foil. They crawl up to the edge of it, placing a foot or two on it and then moving around in frustration. It is wild! The wrapped trees are some of the only ones left on our lot that have any leaves left.

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