What's the big deal about Young Living

Invasion of the Caterpillars!

*Updated with more pictures!

Earlier this week one of the girls called everyone out to the driveway to see what she had found. There were little caterpillars marching uniformly across on their way to the other side.

Everyone remarked about how cute they were and we all wondered where they came from. The little girls picked up a few and put them in jars and they spent the better part of the day playing with them.

It wasn't very long, though, before the girls started to complain that they couldn't go outside without stepping on caterpillars. I thought they were exaggerating and went to take a look myself.

That's when I did a slow shudder beginning at the top of my head and finally ending at the tips of my toes, and let out a shriek that echoed for several seconds and made all the pigeons fly out of  Times Square in slow motion.

In just a few hours there were  thousands  more caterpillars marching across the driveway. As we looked more closely, we could see the blades of grass in the yard moving. There were caterpillars seemingly on every blade of grass! The ground was literally writhing with thousands of the little buggars!

They were even crawling up the brick walls of our house!

Later that day, I took Madison to work for her dad, and she reported after she got home that the phone was ringing off the hook with people calling the golf shop to complain about the caterpillars on the putting greens!

As I drove along I could see caterpillars EVERYWHERE! They were making the same march across each driveway I passed!

We have heard that they are army worms, but when I did a little research, I saw that army worms are nocturnal, and these little devils are definitely not.

All I know is, they are not nearly as cute as we first thought, and now that we have noticed them eating up our accidental watermelon plants, we are using all of our resources to get rid of them. We are barely making a dent, though, as they seem to be multiplying by the minute!

We've had some good discussions about the ten plagues and how environmental control of a species is sometimes necessary.

Plus, we've been doing a lot of the shudder/gross out dance.

Accompanied by shrieking, of course.

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  1. I’ve got a little shudder dance of my own going on, after reading this post. (But without the shriek, cos I don’t wanna scare the kiddos.) Actually, we’ve had a similar plague this year: slugs covering our front porch and steps every day from dusk to just after dawn. The kids were intrigued for the first few days, but now they go out with the salt shaker as often as I’ll let them!

  2. We call those things inchworms. Love to play with them! (gently) :-)

  3. Ew.
    Just ‘ew’.
    Let us know if you find out what they are!

  4. Isn’t it funny how a few of something can be cute but rarely are hundreds or thousands anything but creepy. You’re making my skin crawl all the way in Ohio!

  5. I want more pictures.

  6. Hhhmm… sounds like a great science project God brought right to you! I always think it’s funny how my kids see the opportunities as great and I usually see gross. I do love it though when the research happens and they eagerly share the new facts. I’m again reminded of how blessed I am to be able to spend all these years homeschooling. Keep us posted and don’t keep us guessing too long as to who your new visitors are:)

  7. You’re killing me with no picture! An army of caterpillars? I have to see that! You know, from a distance.

  8. See…I was expecting a sweet post about how she found some caterpillars and now you are waiting for them to turn into beautiful butterflies. That is NOT the image I have.

  9. We’ve had the same problem in the Memphis area. There was a news story on it a few weeks ago. They never said on the news what they were or why they were everywhere. I guess nobody cared why they were here they just wanted to get rid of them!

  10. Are they furry? If they’re just the smooth slimey kind I could deal with that, but I’m actually alergic to the furry ones, that would be terrible!

    Thankfully the only things plaguing my ‘house’ right now are these darned fruit flies, they multiply overnight.

  11. There was a story on the NBC local news about these guys this afternoon. They called them army worms, even though they were also not nocturnal. However, they said they were reported in Central Texas but not in the Metroplex!

    They showed a lot of damage that had been done to a golf course in just a few hours of “invasion”. Hunky golf pro better get his greensman spraying something wormicidal!

  12. Trying not to giggle and squirm at the same time. I know how creepy it feels! We had an invasion 3 years ago…ewww. Ours were the fuzzy kind. I still remember seeing the grass moving. They were coming from all directions toward the house. I had to go out hourly to keep them away! Driving down the driveway, let’s just say it was one of the nastiest sounds I’ve heard….

    Praying they disappear quickly!

  13. eww, double eww! My son finds all kinds of gross things that he wants identified. You also might find this website helpful:

  14. EWWWW!

  15. Ewwww…that’s a creepy lot of caterpillars!

  16. We’ve been overrun by ants lately. Can’t seem to figure out where they come from or be able to get rid of them :p But I’ll take ants over furry caterpillar armies 😉

  17. army worms or tent caterpillars run in seven year cycles up in here in the northern states. I grew up in northern Minnesota and they get bad. They usually start in white foamy things and hatch first and then come so I am not sure that is what they are. If they are army worms, they will eat EVERYTHING. They get so bad here that white houses look black. They sweep the roads because they cause accidents. They wipe out the leaves on trees in the forests. I don’t remember them coming in like an army though. Maybe they do though and that is why they call them army worms. Good luck. There is no natural way to get rid of them that I remember.

  18. This reminds me of the grasshoppers in the Laura and Mary stories. I hope you can save the plants you want to save!

    (probably wouldn’t help if I said that one of the first lines you wrote sounded like a joke…
    Why did the caterpillars cross the driveway?
    To get to the other side!)

  19. I have to share this story with you! About a few years ago, my then 5 year old son found an invasion of these guys all over our back deck. He loved playing with them in his trucks, cars, buckets, etc. He decided they were his “pet worms”…One evening he was sitting out back playing with them…then he came screaming for me. I ran to see what was wrong. He was crying hysterically about his little brother (Justin was just about 2 1/2 years old) He said “Bubby ATE my pet worm!!!!” I look over and there is Justin…munching away and giggling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like..hee hee I made my big brother mad!!! It was the grossest thing I ever saw…and my older son was just sooooo upset that his brother ate his pet. So it least your kids have not ate any so far!

  20. We usually get these in a cycle in our garden, though this year they have been really mild. They take out the geen bean plants, and the other veggie plants. I have heard to sprinkle lime or something else like ground shell stuff by the the plants you want to save (it basically slices the worms to death as they slide over it….) but you have to apply it every time the ground/plant gets wet. Natural defenses are bug eaters (birds and stuff) and marigold plants though they can bring other problems with them….

  21. Ilk – not fun. Hope you can get rid of them quickly before they eat all your plants.

  22. ewww gross!
    Where I grew up it was grasshoppers that would take over on occasion.

    Love your blog!

  23. We’ve had a handfull of these here in W. Kentucky. I hope we don’t get more! *shudder*