UACES Facebook Tent Caterpillars
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Tent Caterpillars

(March 2012)

QuestionI saw this in the forest this morning: It has a bunch of caterpillars in it (you can see one near the top of the second picture). Should I be worried about this?


AnswerThe culprit is the Eastern tent caterpillar. They are earlier than normal this year, as is everything else. They usually begin their feeding as the trees begin to grow in the spring, and build these webs or tents to protect them from predators and insecticides. These insects leave their web to feed, but if you can reach the webs on a cloudy day or in the evening when they return to it, you can pull out the web and destroy it. These hit early in the year, while the fall webworms appear later in the season and typically have multiple generations. Luckily for us, the eastern tent caterpillar doesn’t last a long time, but it can defoliate young trees before it leaves.

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