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The Tent Caterpillar PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 18 March 2009 15:50

The Tent Caterpillar - Prevention and Control

By Steve Nix, About.com

What Trees are Attacked?:

The forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) is an insect found throughout United States and Canada where hardwoods grow. The caterpillar will consume foliage of most hardwood species but prefers sugar maple, aspen and oak. Regionwide outbreaks occur at intervals varying from 6 to 16 years in northern areas while annual infestations occur in the southern range.
The eastern tent caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum) is more a nuisance than a threat and is not considered a serious pest.

How are Trees Killed?:

Actually trees are seldom killed by the eastern or forest tent caterpillar but both insects can defoliate trees. Still, the infestations of forest tent caterpillar is a major concern and can effect growth, limb and bud formation. It can also effect sugar maple sap production.
The eastern tent caterpillar prefers wild cherry along roadways, but can be found making nests in ornamental apple, crabapple, plum, peach, and cherry in landscapes. It seldom harms a tree.

Prevention and Control:

Freezing weather just prior to, during, and following hatching will kill many of the young caterpillars. When trees are completely stripped of leaves, the larvae will starve. Natural enemies, including several species of flies and wasps parasitize the eggs, larvae, and pupae of the forest tent caterpillar.
Several chemical insecticides and a microbial insecticide, Bacillus thuringiensis are registered for control of this insect. If control is necessary, consult a pest-control specialist.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 15:24
 

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