Today, taxes done, we attacked our tent caterpillars, which I began to notice a week ago. While mowing this afternoon, Karen spotted nests in our orchard and promptly let me know. My bad, I should be checking the orchard each morning when I do my gardening round. Here's a nest in a crabapple tree.
What do we do? First, put on a rubber glove. It's unnecessary, the creatures don't bite, but makes things a bit more appetizing until, ten thousand caterpillars later, you're used to the idea and the holes that have developed in glove fingertips don't matter.
Next, either grab the nest and peel it off to deposit it in a bucket of soapy water, or if it's out of arm's reach, prune off its host branch. I gain some height by setting my ladder in the bed of my pickup.
Next, I empty the little guys in the bucket. Our chickens weren't interested in either the nests or the soup.
Our goats love them. Here's Luti snacking.
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