[nafex] tent catapillars

H.Dessureault inter.verbis at atreide.net
Thu May 31 22:19:26 EDT 2001


We have them too, but not badly. I did notice though that they do seem to occur one per tree. It's been cold here lately and that seems to make them letargic. So, I get to catch some individuals before they get a chance to do too many damages. They seem to be able to travel a big distance from the tree where they originated to the apple tree they are planning to eat.
Prevention in this case around here consist of cutting and burning the branches of small trees (usually wild cherries) where they have spent the winter in the form of eggs. Early, when the cobweb?, is formed is the time where they are easily noticed, before they are big enoughto make their way to your apple trees.
I think the eggs comes in a cluster neatly arranged in a few rows. They are brown and shiny, the clusters that I have seen are approx. 1" by 1/2 " and the whole cluster sticks together, so you can easily remove the cluster with a sideway pressure of the thumb. 
This Spring, I found some in an apple tree and later a small cobweb starting that I had missed.
I am no sure if all the above information is right as I am not very good with bugs, and it is strictly based on observations, but maybe someone can tell us more precisely about the life cycle of this particular insect.
Aluminium rings around the trunk covered in Tanglefoot (a very very sticky substance) takes care of anything that climbs up the tree, including ants trying to raise aphids on cherry leaves. 
There is never a dull moment as far as Nature is concerned.
Hélène, zone 3
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: del stubbs 
  To: nafex at yahoogroups.com 
  Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 6:06 PM
  Subject: [nafex] tent catapillars


  Areas of Northern Minnesota are heavily infested now. Are they elsewhere?
  It's a cyclic event, some say 15 years. Healthy trees are defoliated, then 
  releaf in July 'like nothing happened', I hear.
  In our local area we've just started seeing a handful here and there in the 
  woods.  While mowing the fledgling apple orchard today i noticed a 3 year 
  old sweet sixteen with chewed leaves, but no insects obvious. Then my wife 
  spotted them on the chicken wire enclosure. Perhaps sunning themselves after 
  this mornings rain?   So we inspected all 200 trees, some are this years 
  grafts-just showing first leaf. One got it bad, there being so little growth 
  to take the feeding.
  It suprised me to see so many apples with just one catapillar per plant, I 
  thought they we're typically only in the great bunches.
  So it's inspections every day till they give up.
  Much discussion of them on the local radio, and so far the concensus is Dawn 
  detergent spray mix, or aluminum foil trunk wrap with grease.
  Mn. Del
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