Attack of the caterpillars!
A couple days ago we drove with Mike to a jobsite to check on the progress. He called me out of the van to look at a clump of caterpillars hanging from a bush. As we looked around, we noticed that they were everywhere. The kids got out and we watched them crawling all over the ground. I didn’t think much about it until we saw the news last night. Apparently it is some sort of freak infestation due to the weather and the moisture.
Here is what the local paper had to say:
Caterpillars, likely millions of them, have in the previous four or five days infested the desert landscape in areas around Las Cruces, most notably the Talavera area — behind “A” Mountain — and areas along U.S. Highway 70 on both sides of the Organ Mountains.
The caterpillars are non-poisonous, harmless creatures, said David Richman, a New Mexico State University entomologist.
“The weather has to be just right,” said Richman. “These are not predictable. It’s not like the 13-year cicada…This is not like that. This is a boom-and-bust insect. They happen and you may not see them again for another 20, 30 years.” [Link]