WA Disgusting Caterpillar Infestation is Ugly and Can Last Years
Have you ever seen an invasion of tent caterpillars? What are they?
Tent caterpillars, also known as Eastern tent caterpillars or forest tent caterpillars are found in various areas of North America, including Washington. They can infest an area once every 10 to 15 years. However, once an infestation hits, it can last 2 to 3 years.
Are tent caterpillars dangerous?
Though they look intimidating, tent caterpillars are NOT dangerous to humans. Children like to keep as pets. Yuck. However, these pests are known to defoliate trees and create incredible webs or tents.
Defoliated trees typically refoliate after caterpillar attacks and experience no lasting damage. In some cases, however, trees or parts of trees may be killed after several seasons of repeated defoliation.
The caterpillars turn into moths. They live for about 5 days as adults. The moths mate, deposit eggs, then die. The eggs stay on the tree and hatch in the spring to repeat the cycle. The larvae reach maturity 5 to 6 weeks after hatching. They construct large silk mats or webs on tree branches and the main trunk. Larvae emerge about 10 days later.
Should you destroy tent caterpillars? How is it done?
Tent caterpillars are a HUGE nuisance and can cause some damage to trees. By eliminating tent caterpillars from your yard, you'll prevent damage to your trees and remove the eyesore. Most people prune off the infested tree branch and burn them, caterpillars and all. Some spray the tent with a pesticide. And some people spray with vegetable oil. watch. (Courtesy of Homestead Acres)