This year Prince George has had an infestation of tent caterpillars: genus Malacosoma and in the moth family Lasiocampidae. It started as soon as the snow melted and still is here today; for at least a month now we’ve had nearly all of the coniferous trees infested with these hungry chompers. It’s really eerie walking through the forest and you take a moment to pause and listen. It sounds like a box of Rice Crispies snap-crackle-pop’ing in milk.
Doing some reading, I’ve found out the frequency of infestations varies a lot, but generally every 10 years or so they will have an infestation that can consume 10s of thousands of acres of trees. Typically they die off because, as all of these parasitic infestations tend to do, they’ve eaten so much they’ve run out of food supply. They eat themselves to death.
I remember when I was younger and we had an infestation, my brothers and I started collecting these things in ice cream buckets. Boy was mom proud of us that year.