Nice job with the Trees! ”- John T.
I’m happy to have found such a qualified arborist after all this time! ”- Benita W.
Tent Worms are Invading! Will They Harm Your Trees?
It’s that time of year when pests of all sorts show up to feed on our landscape plants and trees. This year, with the heavy rains and mild temperatures, they seem to be out in force. Forest tent caterpillars are practically blanketing the DFW area right now. We’re finding them everywhere! If you’ve found these pests in your landscape, read on to learn more…
What are Tent Caterpillars?
tent caterpillars, Malacosoma disstria, are the most common of the tent
worms that are present in spring. They feed on your tree’s new foliage
and they can defoliate your trees if they are present in large numbers.
Defoliation can stunt growth and vigor of your tree and damage trees
already under stress.
Forest tent caterpillars build tightly
woven mats of web on branches or the trunk of the tree where many larvae
cluster together; afterwards, they leave the web to feed on new leaves.
The moth they morph into are buff colored and have a 1- to 1 1/2- inch
wide wingspan. The mature moths lay eggs on your trees in late summer
and fall, then they hatch the following spring. The new caterpillars
start the process of munching on your trees all over again.
Colonies of tent caterpillars stay clustered together and move about along a trail left behind by their leader.
They’re in Your Trees! What to Do?
Because tent caterpillars feed in large groups, they can quickly destroy large sections of your tree’s canopy.
There are natural methods we can use to control infestations of tent
caterpillars and webworms of all kinds. If we can identify an
infestation in a timely fashion, we can use a non-toxic plan of
installing a biological control. Populations of tent caterpillars can
also be treated with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), bacterium that is
deadly to the caterpillars but harmless to birds, fish, pets and people.
Large trees will require special equipment in order to apply the
treatment high in the canopy.
For more information on tent caterpillars, visit our blog post here.