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I am the Pol Pot of Eastern Tent Caterpillars - It seemed like a good idea at the time... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
terribleturnip

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I am the Pol Pot of Eastern Tent Caterpillars [May. 6th, 2008|12:38 pm]
terribleturnip
It's an obsession.

Oh, I'm still hunting down box elder bugs and ripping off their heads, or smushing their abdomens, crushing their larvae, smearing their egg cases.

And its aphid season and the every other day, smushing of those annoying, yet piquantly sweet sapsuckers (I didn't taste them on purpose. I just sort of forgot where my hands had been...) takes up some of my time.

(I know, they're caterpillars. I just grew up calling them tentworms. And if I can't use gay or retarted or crippled anymore, I'm okay with that, but I ain't dropping "tentworm" until the Worm Defamation Council serves me with an injunction.)

And while we're fussing about proper names. A good portion of my neighbors are calling them gypsy moth caterpillars. Okay, they're not. Primer for y'all -- although the only neighbor who will see this, regineaubergines, knows damn well what they are...

Fuzzy, blue and red dots: gypsy moth caterpillar

Smooth, white line down the middle, if you can bring yourself to look closely at them, they're patterned like a fine oriental carpet: my nemesis, the Eastern Tent Caterpillar.

Yes, that is my hanging precariously from tree limbs, holding up my Scripto Extendalighter, setting their tent nests on fire, crisping the "worms" inside like...well, in the interests of civility, I will not mention the painfully obvious cliche.

And, I look like a crazy person whose Ritalin needs to be dialed down a notch when I walk the dogs because I will do anything to stomp one where it lies. Actually I don't stomp -- because then you miss the satisfactory "pop" noise you get if you pressurize them just right. I'll be walking along and suddenly wham, I get all Karate Kid, whiring and whipping my leg up into a tree trunk just to get a couple more.

The Captain gave some thought to abstaining from walking with us during TW massacre season, but, brave man that he is, has deigned to accompany us, me leaping in front of and over dogs to get...just...one....more. At first I thought that perhaps I'd won him over to the dark side, as he shows an aptitude for crushing any in his path...but I suspect it's mostly an attempt to minimalize my spastic lunging and lurching.

I know, you're shocked. Is this the same person who will pick an earthworm up out of the street and carry him/her safely to the dirt/grass on the other side? Who's traumatized by long periods of rain because I just can't stand to walk over and by all of those drowning worms?

Hey, no earthworm ever ate an entire favorite tree of mine, practically overnight.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-05-06 09:43 pm (UTC)
Will ichneumon wasps parasitize tentworms? I've had good luck getting the wasps to go where I want them by planting aster family flowers in the target zone. For some reason, we have very few eastern tent caterpillars on our property this or any other yeat; we do have a problem with bagworms getting in the cedar trees, and the ichneumons come in very handy there.
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