Skin-Crawling Swarms of ‘Dancing’ Bugs Descend on Hudson Valley
The fuzz you're now seeing on trees in the Hudson Valley is actually thousands of creepy bugs.
It seems like we're always discovering something new about the ecosystem of the Hudson Valley. Sometimes these discoveries can be awe-inspiring, and other times they can be downright creepy. These swarming bugs that many people probably walk right past without even knowing it are definitely on the creepy side.
Locals who spend lots of time outdoors can sometimes completely miss the most interesting things that nature has to offer. You can put the dancing aphids on that list. These sap-sucking insects are nightmare fuel.
The woolly aphid, also known as a dancing aphid, feeds on the saps of trees and shrubs. These insects usually gather in the thousands, attacking branches while performing their strange dance.
Some people call these insects "boogie-woogie aphids" because of their wild movements. When they sense a threat, the aphids start to dance uncontrollably as a warning to predators.
Here in the Hudson Valley, there has been an increase in the woolly aphid and that has been a big problem for the beech tree. These insects have contributed to the decimation of the tree species which are already being threatened by disease to their bark and leaves.
The aphids will stick their beak-like mouths into a tree branch and suck out the sap. Even if you don't have the misfortune to stumble across a swarm of them, you may notice evidence of their visit. After eating the sap, the aphids leave behind a dark, tar-like residue of excrement on the branch.
So the next time you're exploring the Hudson Valley and see a terrifying swarm of dancing aphids, don't say we didn't warn you.