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  • Eastern Tent Caterpillar infestation

    Created by Dinnie on

    A few weeks ago we noticed the white tents in about 20 trees in the woods surrounding our home. It took a few days for us to identify it was Eastern Tent Caterpillars. By that time, the caterpillars had left the tents and now at this point can be found all over our home, driveway, trees, and plants. We will try to remove the egg masses in the future but there will probably be too many to be successful. Should we be spraying at this point (caterpillars about about 2 inches long) or is it too late for this year? I am also very concerned for next year and plan to try to remove as many tents as we can in early spring and spray the young caterpillars as soon as possible with BtK or Spinosad. What should my focus be now and for the future? Thank you,

  • Author
  • #237295

    Eric Vinje

    Hi Dinnie –

    It is not too late to treat tent caterpillars with Bt-k or spinosad. They are the two most effective, least toxic products available for controlling these destructive pests. I would also recommend that you restrict caterpillar movement and cut off access to feeding areas with Tree Tanglefoot Pest Barrier. If all else fails, apply a fast-acting botanical pesticide as a last resort. Derived from plants which have insecticidal properties, these natural pesticides have fewer harmful side effects than synthetic chemicals and break down more quickly in the environment. They will also reduce the number of caterpillars that will develop into egg-laying adults.

    Good luck!

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