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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Friendly Flies Lay Eggs In Tent Caterpillars

Tent caterpillars infesting local trees

The huge bare spots on trees seen on hilltops and backyards alike are the result of infestations of the forest tent caterpillar - or millions of the caterpillars.

The infestations can be seen driving along Humphrey Road and Five Mile Road in the town of Humphrey, said Russ Biss, natural resources supervisor for the state Department of Environmental Conservation office in Allegany.

“It’s almost like fall with so many leaves gone” on some hillsides, Mr. Biss said.

Why so many tent caterpillars this year? More...

17 comments :

Anonymous said...

i for one smell some bull$#@$ our grandparents dont remember ever being overrun with tent catipilars or " friendly " flies so its just that nobody wants to take the blame for droping any bugs not even the friendly lady bugs that just showed up......

Anonymous said...

But actually the "conspiracy" here is that all these bugs are out of control because the bats are being killed off by the over use of herbicides, pesticides and insecticides. The bats kept many insects in control ..... less bats, and this is what we get.

Anonymous said...

Are the honeybees and hummingbirds and other small creatures being harmed by the spraying?

Pennsylvania Avenue said...

... remember, nothing that we are using will kill you.

Anonymous said...

I blame the drilling mostly

Anonymous said...

I do actually remember the caterpillar and defoliation in past years. In 1975 and again in 1987 or 88 this same event occured. The defoliation of the trees, droppings in the leaves that sounded like rain and the proliferation of the flies that followed. We have to remember that the insect world is a fragile place, greatly affected by temperature, weather extremes, climate changes,etc. Every 7 to 15 years, these weather events occur and we have what we have now. The flies, in turn, attack, kill and lay eggs in the larvae left behind by the caterpillars, hence the proliferation of the "friendly" fly. The planes and choppers we have seen recently are spraying a natural chemical called Bt (http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/BTgen.pdf) to kill the caterpillars. In spite of all the rumors, nobody is "dropping" any type of insect from the sky. If you think about the budget crisis the state is experiencing, it is ridiculous to think any state agency would spend millions of dollars to release anything. Same thing goes for the "ladybug". They have been around forever. I remember them as a kid. Certain weather events have occurred that has allowed them to proliferate. Who knows?..Global warming?...whatever it is, one thing for certain is, they are not "dropping from the sky"

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed hardly any hummingbirds this year? We have one family of hummers coming to our feeder. They don't even fight and divebomb one another!

Anonymous said...

I too remember caterpillars in the eighties. The roads were slick with them and the droppings did indeed sound like rain. But I believe they were gypsy moth caterpillars and not the tent variety.

I will try to study about the "natural" chemical being sprayed. Thank you for the web site. Am still wondering if it is a danger to tent caterpillars only.
What about monarchs and other butterflies?

Anonymous said...

I have just as many humming birds this year as I have in years past.

They are all fighting over the same feeder and I have 4 feeders up for them to share! And they have been swooping by us when we set outside to enjoy the nice weather.

Our trees on our property are all but bare but the spraying has been done on property that borders ours so I do not think the spraying has harmed the humming birds.

Anonymous said...

Briefly studied BT and the possible additive Confirm 2 F which is being sprayed by helicoptor in the Potter County area.

It will kill butterfly caterpillars and aquatic invertebrates.

In lab animals it can have blood and spleen effects in low doses.

It may cause eye irritation.

It has a moderate to high ability to contaminate groundwater.

In NYS, it may not be applied by air within 150 feet of lakes, streams, rivers and ponds.

Anonymous said...

There were definitely "tent worms" (as I called them as a kid) in the 70's. I remember my mom going out with a torch and lighting the nests up to kill them. I don't remember the flies though. So if the catepillers are now gone, when are the flies leaving?

Anonymous said...

I live in Costello PA and a few weeks ago the Eastern Tent Caterpillars were so bad it was like something out of a horror movie.Out my back door there were just globs of them crawling all over each other.One day I walked out in my front yard and you couldn't even take a step without stepping on four or five of them.And then there is the awful webs that stick to you everytime you walk out the door.Not to mention the awful smell they leave.Geesh thank the lord that they are mostly gone now gimme the flys over them nasty things anyday!

Anonymous said...

I live in Galeton and I just have a couple hummingbirds using the feeder. My mother also states that she sees very few of them coming to her hanging basket(fuscia).

Anonymous said...

those dang tent cat. ladybug things and those dang flies friendly or not are gonna keep me in all summer so i don't have to deal with the things being EVERYWHERE i swear you can't even enjoy a day out without a cat. being stepped on or those "friendly" flies landing on you...geeesh!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

it must be them stinking windmills

Anonymous said...

I used a solution of baking soda and disk soap in a spray bottle and it killed the Caterpillars, better then some chemical....

Anonymous said...

If you people were given a new rope to hang yourselves - you would probably gripe about that too! Stuff happens.