Caterpillars everywhere | Toddling Through the Silicon Valley | Cheryl Bac | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

E-mail Cheryl Bac

About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

View all posts from Cheryl Bac

Caterpillars everywhere

Uploaded: Mar 26, 2016
Last week I took our kids to Burgess Park. It ended up being a very short park outing after we discovered all of the tiny fuzzy caterpillars crawling around the equipment. I completely forgot how these caterpillars take over some of our parks this time of year.

Thankfully, there are many other local parks not covered by oak trees. And, luckily, our son is interested in creepy crawly critters, so we were able to turn our short park outing into a longer conversation about bugs and insects.

Have you decided to change your plans because of these caterpillars yet?

Comments

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on Mar 27, 2016 at 3:09 pm

The question is, are they hazardous to the touch?

I found one on my shirt sleeve while riding my bike. I blew it off, but it had colorings that could be considered as a warning. Some caterpillars have hairs that easily come off and are very irritating on human skin.

It could also have been a bio-mimic of an irritating caterpillar.

I don't see the value is messing with them at all.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Mar 27, 2016 at 3:37 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Joe - Thanks for commenting. I've heard that some kids get rashes from them. I agree, no need to take the chance. http://inmenlo.com/2015/04/01/tussok-moth-caterpillars-appear-to-be-making-their-mark-on-menlo-park/


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Really?, a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Mar 28, 2016 at 2:45 pm

OMG, fear the caterpillars? OK, listen up outdoor-phobes, unless they are some new exotic species, take it from this "Kid" who has grown up in this area for the past 60 years. It's OK to touch the caterpillars Mom...it's Oh-K.

The phrase "You can never be too careful" is woefully incorrect


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Mar 28, 2016 at 6:09 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Really?- Thanks for commenting. With so many great outdoor spaces, I'm personally happy to go to the places where I don't have to think about caterpillars falling on my hair and shoulders.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Never Grow Up, a resident of Downtown North,
on Mar 28, 2016 at 9:50 pm

It's way more fun to make a spectator sport out of the little buggers. Wait until they start hanging down on long silk threads, then set up where you can watch bike riders meet up with them. Kids love this.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by SquishEm, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 29, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Web Link

"If you see the white hickory tussock moth caterpillar, don't touch it. The insect's fuzzy black spines contain venom to ward off predators, but can also also irritate human skin. The good news is the nasty rash it leaves behind is treatable with lotion and ice."

Web Link


 +   2 people like this
Posted by SoapyWater, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 29, 2016 at 3:34 pm

"Walk around the house with a broom and sweep the climbing caterpillars into a pail of soapy water before they have a chance to spin their cocoons."

Web Link


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Mar 29, 2016 at 5:06 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Never grow up - Biking with these caterpillars could be quite challenging.

SquishEm- Thanks for sharing a remedy.

SoapyWater - Thanks for sharing how to get rid of them.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on Mar 30, 2016 at 7:02 pm

I think what's out there is a rusty tussock moth caterpillar.

Tussock moth caterpillars in general are not harmless to the touch, according to Web Link. They are a pest to be avoided.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Olenka Villarreal, a resident of Community Center,
on Mar 31, 2016 at 2:48 pm

I am so glad to seee others wondering about this PROFOUND amount of moth caterpillars! We have 2 old oaks above our home and our house is COVERED on the outside! People make a mad dash into our doorway so they don't get a bunch dropping into their hair.

It's more of an "ick" factor I suppose, but is there an effective way to remove them from the surface of our home? I read soap and water but does that create a whole different mess??

Any practical advice is appreciated!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Mar 31, 2016 at 3:58 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Olenka Villarreal- Thanks for commenting. Yes, it would be fantastic to know the best ways to get rid of them. It seems like the city power washes and sprays them with Bt-k.

http://www.menlopark.org/DocumentCenter/View/9900


 +   2 people like this
Posted by 1rst World Problems, a resident of Community Center,
on Apr 1, 2016 at 1:38 pm


Ms. Cheryl: By most of your responses over time, I'm convinced you are either the sister of SIRI, Android's assistant, or living inside the Magic 8 Ball.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Apr 1, 2016 at 4:15 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

1rst World Problems - Thanks for letting me know.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

U-Pick at Webb Ranch
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 1,313 views

A community in the sand
By Cheryl Bac | 2 comments | 667 views

Modern Hospice Care and The Death of Ivan Ilyich
By Aldis Petriceks | 3 comments | 585 views