Tent Caterpillars

Tent Caterpillars are more unsightly than destructive. However, new nests like the one above, are much less offensive to the eye than the perforated dropping-laden abandoned nests, which later attract dirty debris.

Favored trees or shrubs may contain many such nests, and the concentration of Caterpillars may denude the host. Some nests harbor a dozen or two, while others may have many dozens of residents.

The center image shows the trail of webbing left behind by individuals on their nocturnal forays to and from the nearby foliage. It is thought that this trail is needed by Caterpillars to find their way back to the daylight security of the nest.

The matured Caterpillars tend to vacate their dirty nests and migrate to nearby food sources. Because of this migration, a gardener may find one or two on the underside of garden plants where they seek shelter from natural predators. But this lack of concentration does not pose a major threat which requires the application of pesticides.

A major predator is the Black-billed Cuckoo, which uses its downward-curving bill to invade these nests and those of the Webworms, which appear later in the year.

To quickly remove the nests and occupants, go HERE

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