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‘Spooky’ caterpillars shroud trees in cobwebs‏

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posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 02:00 AM
Trees and shrubs around the country have been shrouded in cobwebs due to a mystery plague of caterpillars.

The ermine moth caterpillars emerge when the weather gets warm and spin a cobweb over the trees to protect them from birds.

The high numbers this year could be because the cold winter has killed off predators like ladybirds. The cherry trees in Jesus Green, Cambridge have been stripped by the caterpillars and are now covered in a fine white cobweb.

Shocked locals have called one cherry tree avenue an “avenue of ghosts”. Southend Cemetery in Essex has also been described as a “spooky scene” after caterpillars covered shrubs and hedges around the graveyard with cobwebs.

Carol Simpson near Brechin in Angus says the caterpillars are all over her garden. "They are everywhere - all over the place. I can't have my windows open because they get in. "lt is disgusting and it makes my skin crawl," she said.

The caterpillars have also been reported in Guildford and around the home counties. Matt Shardlow, the chief executive of Buglife, the insect charity, admitted the caterpillars can look “spooky”.

In certain years he said there are more than usual for a combination of factors. This year it could be because the cold spring killed off predators. The caterpillars work in a “boom and bust” cycle and will not return to the same trees and the vegetation will recover he explained.

The caterpillars will turn into ermine moths, that are native to Britain and an important part of the ecosystem and he encouraged people to see the wonder in the “spooky” caterpillars.


This is awesome. I live in the UK and I have never heard of this before. I wish I could see it for myself, but I don't live close enough to where it is happening. I get why people would think it's creepy, it looks like something out of a scary movie

I'm glad they are thriving though

posted on Jun, 17 2013 @ 02:44 AM
That's pretty awesome.
We have similar caterpillars here but they leave nothing like that.

I did a quick google image search and found a couple surreal images.

I think this one is of the same cemetery in your picture:

This is a fantastic picture. It almost looks unreal.

Link to another article.

Thanks for posting, I have a few people who would be interested in seeing this.

posted on Jun, 26 2013 @ 11:25 AM
First of all, that looks gorgeous.

Second thing to note, I actually live about six miles from there! In fact, myself and a lady friend used to walk through that cemetery in the picture, when ever she wanted to go to an auction (and no, I wasnt her finance man. Im skint, I was just the muscle for carrying things the four miles back to her place).

The cemetery is surrounded on basically all sides by industrial parks, containing warehousing locations, auto body re-finishers, and the local sewerage and waste management facilities. Only in Essex would any one be crass enough to install a sewage farm near a cemetery...

Anyway, awesome story, and great pictures!


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