Eastern Tent Caterpillar

eastern tent caterpillar close up on tree

We’re in the midst of Spring, and we thought it was time to remind you about the Eastern Tent Caterpillar. These little guys are commonly mistaken as Bagworms but don’t be fooled. They are also similar to the Fall Webworm, as they both create webs in trees. Keep this in mind, though: Fall Webworms make their webs out on the tips of branches, while Eastern Tent Caterpillars tend to create theirs in the crotches of trees.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar web attached to treeThe Eastern Tent Caterpillar will spend winter as one egg out of hundreds. Masses can make up to 400 eggs; that’s a lot of hungry caterpillars. When buds begin to open, as they are now, the eggs will also begin to hatch. Did you know that masses of Eastern Tent Caterpillars can actually join together to create makeshift colonies in a tree? That’s one invasion you don’t want! These insects will typically feed outside of hot hours, usually early in the morning and in the evening as it starts to cool down with the sunset. Be on the lookout to see if you can spot them.

Some typical evidence you’ll see from Eastern Tent Caterpillars will include the defoliation of trees, building silk nests (but remember what we said about the placement of those nests), as well as a multitude of caterpillars crawling around. These guys are found in many different types of trees, but fruit trees tend to be the majority.

Prevention is key, so if you’re not on a regular plan to help manage these pests in the winter, call our tree service professionals to schedule a meeting with a Certified Arborist and find out how best to treat those caterpillars as early as possible. Catching these kinds of insects before they hatch out in the Springtime is the best action you can take. Since flowers are blooming already, talking with a tree expert is the next best thing you can do to get control.

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