Two weeks ago, while cutting the grass, I noticed a few caterpillars on my crab apple tree. Upon closer inspection, I realized there were more than a few. In fact, there were no leaves left on the tree at all. I was shocked, as a few weeks earlier, it was a massive pink blossom lining the road.
There were hundreds of caterpillars all over the tree, and I was stunned. I should also say, my ability to drive a lawn tractor is not that great, as I bump into things often. I normally bend down and try to get as close to the trees as possible, but this time caterpillars were falling on my head.
I made my way to another section of the yard and inspected a few other trees. The Mountain Ash, the Variegated Maple and every birch tree I could see had their trunks covered in the little critters. I looked up and realized most of the leaves on these trees were gone. I had no idea what to do, so I called Iain.
Iain is my go-to guy for anything outside. When the grass died after the winter, Iain knew what to do. If the driveway needs sealing, Iain has the tools. Even cutting down trees, Iain is the man. But, what does Iain know about caterpillars?
I called him, and he came up and shook his head (not a good sign). He had some environmental-friendly ‘stuff’, which he thought might work. A few minutes later, I looked out the window, and there was Iain, in what looked like a spacesuit, using a fogger and bathing my property in a harmless mist. It was harmless to everything except the million or so caterpillars eating my trees.
It seemed to work, but Iain showed me caterpillars on every tree and shrub I have, even the evergreens, which they normally do not attack. It took a few hours, but we were confident we had won the battle. That is until yesterday when I again cut the grass. Yes, the original collection is gone, but we are now being attacked by a new plethora of the furry critters with the cute red dots.
Fortunately for me, Iain is coming back this week to work his magic, and I am ready for battle. Bill Murray may have lost the battle with the moles in Caddy Shack, but this is a clash I will not lose. Stay tuned to see what happens.
Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award-winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on Rogers TV, the Standard Website or YouTube.