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Tent Caterpillars PDF Print E-mail

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Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum)

Forest Tent Caterpillar (Maoacosoma disstria)

Photographer: Terry Price, Georgia Forestry Commission Descriptor: Larva(e) Description: on tent Citation: Terry Price, Georgia Forestry Commission, www.insectimages.org Description:

Tent caterpillars tend to be high on the "freak out list" for homeowner because their colonies look a bit intimidating and they can grow quickly,but tent caterpillars are not usually a major pest for homeowners, I do not know of any good preventative treatments, but quick action is advised once they appear. Adults are reddish brown with two transverse parallel bands that are either white (Eastern Tent Caterlippar) or brown (Forest Tent Caterpillar). Eggs are laid in masses, they are shiny and black. Larvae have long silky hairs the length of their bodies.The Eastern Tent Caterpill\ar has a yellow line on its back, while the Forest Tent Caterpillar has a row of elongated spots (like a dotted line).

Photographer: Johnny N. Dell,  Descriptor: Larva(e) Citation: Johnny N. Dell, , www.insectimages.org

Damage:

They attack apple, peach and plum trees. Defoliation of infested branches happens within a few days. The Eastern Tent Caterpillars built the characteristic silken tents.

Management:Photographer: Brian Kunkel, University of Delaware Descriptor: Egg(s) Citation: Brian Kunkel, University of Delaware, www.insectimages.org Photographer: Johnny N. Dell,  Descriptor: Larva(e) Citation: Johnny N. Dell, , www.insectimages.org

The best cure is to simply remove the infestation from the tree by pruning. Burn the colonies to destroy eggs, and larvae. If the infestations are more severe you can also use bacillus thuringienses to kill the larvae. Multiple applications will be needed. Be sure to follw the manufaturer's directions and warnings.

 
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