John Hardy Memorial Hike 2015

My Life So Far

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tussockosis

If it isn't  one thing, it is another--looks like I have found my source of allergy bothering me of late. It is the Douglas-fir tussock moth caterpillar.  There was a huge article in the paper today about the current battle with the deadly (to trees) caterpillars.  Currently they are in the phase of looking for places to pupate which is maybe why I have seen them crawling along the deck sides, on the screens, etc.  At least that means their troublesome times are about over for this year.

Since I am continually raking and gathering up needles and putting them into bags, I have subjected myself to their old skins and spent cocoons and have had the resultant runny nose, headache, itchy arms and hands, etc. that are more prevalent to people who have allergies anyway.  Since my allergies are usually in the spring and fall it has been puzzling to me.


I just captured one to make sure it was what I was reading about and sure enough it had the four colorful tufts of hair on its back.  I smashed him with a jar!


Evidently they are cyclical and an invasion only happens every 5 to 10 to 12 years.  This must be the moth invasion I had earlier this summer!!!  This is exactly how they looked!!!  I don't know if they hurt any of my fir trees--if the needles turn brown they have, so far it is the cedar trees that have been brown.  I should have killed every one of those ugly moths instead of letting some fly away, thinking they were doing some good by eating bugs and stuff--that is a different kind of moth!  At least I know they are not interested in eating my clothes in the closets.


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