I was left stunned after finding giant cobwebs crawling with THOUSANDS of insects

A MUM was stunned to find giant cobwebs crawling with thousands of insects in her local park.

Sarah Longfellow, 34, initially believed youths had sprayed silly string across bushes and trees in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

A baffled mum thought Halloween had come early after discovering giant cobwebs covering trees and bushes in her local park

A baffled mum thought Halloween had come early after discovering giant cobwebs covering trees and bushes in her local parkCredit: SWNS

Shocked Sarah Longfellow, 34, first thought the foliage was coated with 'silly string' - before realising the webs were crawling with thousands of caterpillars

Shocked Sarah Longfellow, 34, first thought the foliage was coated with ‘silly string’ – before realising the webs were crawling with thousands of caterpillarsCredit: SWNS

But as she drew nearer to investigate, she realised the effect was actually a whopping silken nest alive with hordes of hungry caterpillars.

Sarah, who has an intense phobia of spiders ,admitted she was initially “creeped out” by the cobwebs.

But when she got closer with her son Cain, three, she said her fear turned to “fascination”.

“When we went up to it, it just looked like Halloween had come early, but then I noticed the webs were real,” she said.

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“At first, I thought it was going to be spiders, which I’m terrified of, but my son loves.

“However, as we got closer, it turned out to be caterpillars inside and underneath the webs, and it then became more fascinating to me.”

She didn’t even lose her nerve when one of the little creatures ended up in her mouth.

“I did worry I might have a reaction. I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Sarah said.

“But when I looked online, it said they were not poisonous and were harmless to humans.”

Sarah, a council technical support office, first spotted the mass of webs last week while out driving with her son.

She said: “We were on our way to a party, and I thought somebody had sprayed silly string on some bushes – it looked just like snow.

“On the way back, I stopped as I thought it was a bit strange, and then I thought it was going to be a load of spiders.

“But I was happy that they turned out to be caterpillars, and my son liked them too, as he loves The Hungry Caterpillar book.”

When we went up to it, it just looked like Halloween had come early, but then I noticed the webs were real

Sarah said the insects had completely taken over the trees, plants and railings of one side of Lock Lane community garden in Castleford, West Yorks.

She said: “The caterpillars were all underneath the webs – it was so extraordinary – and they had covered a number of bushes as well.

“I have never seen anything like that. They were hanging down from the trees and blowing in the wind.”

After researching the insects, she discovered they are ermine moths, which aren’t poisonous to humans.

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The caterpillars create these webs to protect themselves from birds.

They then built cocoons before turning into moths with white or greyish wings and black dots.

Sarah says she was initially 'creeped out' - before quickly becoming fascinated when she spotted the caterpillars beneath the webs

Sarah says she was initially ‘creeped out’ – before quickly becoming fascinated when she spotted the caterpillars beneath the websCredit: SWNS

She learned the webs have been woven by ermine moths

She learned the webs have been woven by ermine mothsCredit: SWNS

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