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Residents hit by plague of hairy caterpillars

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
The residents of West Street are usually happy to throw open their windows to the spring air.

But there's something blowing on the breeze in this small corner of Newport, on the Isle of Wight. And it's not pleasant.

West Street is under siege: from an invasion of caterpillars, each covered with up to two million tiny brown hairs.

The minute but menacing hairs can cause serious allergic reactions and have forced residents to shut their windows and doors, and made entire gardens no-go areas.

They have even forced some harassed householders to don full-body protective clothing - complete with breathing masks - so they can venture outside.

The creature causing all the problems is the fairly innocuous looking brown tail moth caterpillar, which hatches in spring time and grows to little more than an inch long.

What it lacks in stature, it makes up for in its super hairy covering, which breaks off as barbs into the air.

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  • Agent Darkbootie


Every couple of years here in New England we get the gypsy moth caterpillars. Same deal - the trees turn bare, and cars are covered in brown pellets the size of poppy seeds.

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Who you gonna call? Ghostbu... I mean exterminators! LOL!

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