In response to daily post’s one-word prompt : Swarm
A few years ago, our maple trees were infested with swarms of insects in early spring. They were dark brown, hideous looking and were eating the leaves of our trees. We had no idea where they came from. We spent hundreds of dollars to get rid of them.
The lawn care people were taking care to destroy these insects. I’m not sure what they were using but their method was not reducing the problem. They claimed these moths would be killed in two years. We paid them to spray whatever they used, it didn’t work. We got their help for more than four years, when I was convinced they were unable to get rid of these disgusting insects, I stopped using their service.
Now after all these years I finally know their name. They are Gypsy Moths, they’re named gypsies because they travel by attaching to different objects.
They were accidentally used in Massachussets in 1869 by a French naturalist who was trying to cross the European Gypsy moth with North American silkworms to create a silkworm industry. Some of the insects escaped and have established themselves in North Eastern United States and Eastern Canada.
They easily spread as the young larvae is carried by wind currents as far as one kilometre. The caterpillars and pupae can be killed by crushing them. They irritate the skin if touched and also causes allergic reactions to people.