Hungry caterpillars destroy Milton Keynes trees

The affected trees in Stony Stratford
The affected trees in Stony Stratford

It looks like an arachnophobes worst nightmare, but the eerie, weblike appearance of these trees is actually the work of very hungry caterpillars.

It took the insects just 12 hours to strip the two trees – and nearby bushes – clean of leaves in the London Road in Stony Stratford.

“Just a day before the trees were green and covered in leaves,” said resident Derek Hough.

“It’s like they have been killed in just 12 hours.

“A neighbour said the trees had been attacked by hordes and hordes of caterpillars, and the area is now like a battlefield, all dead and grey looking,” he added.

The caterpillar of the Ermine moth is responsible for the transformation. The larvae form the communal webs to give protection from predators. The webs and caterpillars are harmless.

When the temporary residents move on, the trees typically recover.