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You have an outstanding & very professional group of people, and a very special Thank you to Andy for his efforts & kindness. Thank each & every one of you. You are exceptional! ”- Ron D.

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Thanks for coming out and educating us about our trees. Our arborist was very good and he talked about all the trees that need to be done and we appreciate that so much. Thank you for helping us. ”- Marilyn S.

Tent Caterpillars

What are Tent Caterpillars?

Forest 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.

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.

 

Colonies of tent caterpillars stay clustered together and move about along a trail left behind by their leader.


Close up of a tent caterpillar.


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