Vignette 259 > Caterpillars

Tent caterpillars hatch from their eggs in the early spring and establish their tent soon thereafter. In April 1905, the ladies of the Outdoor Art Club, ever alert to protect the scenic interests and beauty of Mill Valley, decided to act. They proclaimed that the season when the Tent Caterpillar makes its appearance had arrived. They announced that Tent Caterpillars formed big unsightly nests on the branches of oak trees.  Although members of the Outdoor Art Club were astounded at the magnitude of the task, they set to work to try to exterminate these obnoxious and destructive creatures.  They urged all residents who had oak trees in their yards to be on the lookout for these pests, and to exterminate their nests before they had an opportunity to spread. The swiftest and most effective method of extermination would be to apply a lighted torch to the nests as soon as they are discovered. They also enlisted school children and paid them ten cents a quart for the caterpillars. The quantities brought to the Club nearly “swamped” the treasury, but their efforts served as great advertisement. Newspapers all over the country commented on the methods used by the Outdoor Art Club.