You may have already noticed a few cute and funny looking caterpillars moseying on along the sidewalk here and there, generally minding their own business.
I bet you noticed a few more then what you would usually find at this time of year. If yes - you're not imagining things, my friend.
It seems like there is officially an outbreak of forest tent caterpillars, and you might be spotting the byproduct of this outbreak around the city in the form of swarms of these little critters.
Tent caterpillars are considered to be forest pests, and although these types of caterpillars are popular in Quebec and Ontario this time of year, an outbreak of this magnitude is rarely seen.
Although they look kinda gross and very un-cute from up close, these caterpillars don't cause much hard to actual humans but rather our ecosystem and delicate flora.
Caterpillars are defoliators, which means they love eating leafy plants more than Homer Simpson loves donuts, and will mercilessly chomp away all spring and summer long until trees are bone dry.
The most effective way to eradicate an infestation in your own yard, for example, is to find the eggs and destroy them with soapy water. Or, alternatively, you can try to remove the adult caterpillars the same way.
Don't worry too much though, you can touch the caterpillars, they are not poisonous. However make sure they are in fact Tent Caterpillars because they look very similar to Pine Processionary Caterpillars which can be dangerous and even deadly if consumed by pets.
That being said, this is the third summer we see this outbreak occur because caterpillar outbreaks work on a cycle. The good news is after this they should die down for another couple years.