Lufkin expert confirms caterpillars bigger nuisance than usual

Updated: Mar. 28, 2017 at 6:13 PM CDT
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Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Many mornings, Wanda Gulley, a Lufkin resident, enjoys walking around the neighborhood parks. It's during her walks she said she spotted unusual number of caterpillars across town.

"I've noticed the caterpillars, not only out here in the park on the trail. I've noticed them outside of businesses, restaurants, and different places," Gulley said. "Even where I live on the streets, I've noticed them."

Retired entomologist Joe Pase is a bug expert. He said we're seeing a significant number of the caterpillars this year compared to previous years, largely, because of the mild winter.

"Parasites usually keep them caterpillars at a tolerable levels. For whatever reason this year, maybe those have been not as significant as the past, so we've had a lot of them have survived to see what we're seeing right now," Pase explains.

While these caterpillars don't harm people or homes, the insects can be a nuisance should you happen to receive their droppings.

"If you're standing under a tree when they're feeding, it will come down like a light rain and get down your shirt collars," Pase said.

The expert said sprays aren't effective to remove the creatures. As a result, Pase recommends to let nature run its course.

In just a couple of weeks, the caterpillars will leave the trees and find a shelter to spin their cocoons.

For Gulley, she said she prefers a more scenic route during her walks.

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