[NAFEX] Tent caterpillars

tanis grif tanisgrif at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 31 21:15:20 EDT 2006

Do you mean "web worms"?  In WI (at least) we try to call them "fall web worms" even
tho they first show up in July.  I think there are a couple species or more, I see
some in apples starting now, and I assume another species in black walnut a bit
later.  "Tent caterpillars" is what we call the May species.

I could try to find latin names, if anyone wants them.

I saw the spring kind's climbing habit this year.  I had missed a couple early
tents.  I like to catch them when they first hatch-- small tents & tiny caterpillars
are not too icky to squish.  These were bigger tents, bigger caterpillars.  I
brushed them out w/ a stick, and crushed the caters which I saw crawling on the
branch.  I forgot to put away the ladder til next day-- top of ladder was populated
w/ caters apparently waiting for new leaves to grow.

--- "Lon J. Rombough" wrote:

> Found something interesting about tent caterpillars, which are showing 
> up now.   Conventional treatment is to spray or burn the nests.  
> Actually, if you cut the nest out and leave it a good distance (like 
> 100 feet or more) from a shrub or tree, out in the open, the 
> caterpillars are usually destroyed by ants, birds, and other predators 
> in short order.  The nest is their protection and when it's left in the 
> open, they have to eventually try to leave to find a new tree.  When 
> they do, the individual caterpillars are exposed and vulnerable to all 
> sorts of insect eaters, including other insects.  They don't feed on 
> grass, so if they are too far from a food source, they can also starve 
> trying to crawl to another host.
> -Lon Rombough
> Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at 
> http://www.bunchgrapes.com  Winner of the Garden Writers Association 
> "Best Talent in Writing" award for 2003.> __

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