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Insect and Spider Identification: SOLVED: Eastern Tent Catepillar?

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deedeeb
DeLand, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 17, 2004
6:44 PM

Post #810903

I wasn't certain where to post this question or if there is a section for "Plant Pests", so I thought I would take a chance and post it here. Attached is a catepillar I found on my Turk's Head this afternoon. After some research on the net, I decided it is an Eastern Tent Catepillar. Please let me know if this in incorrect.

I have also seen numerous, very tiny worms/larvae in many areas of my garden. I tried to find out if they were tiny Eastern Tent Catepillars, but I don't think they are. They are approximately 1/2" long, yellowish/light greenish tint body with a black head. They don't have the coloration of the ETC, but I thought maybe they're too immature to have the adult coloring.

Can anyone help me identify these? I tried to take a photo, but they're too really too tiny to see well. If anyone would like to see the photo, please let me know. Thanks.

Thumbnail by deedeeb
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deedeeb
DeLand, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 17, 2004
6:47 PM

Post #810905

These are the tiny, tiny larvae I mentioned. Are they the same catepillar? I read that the ETC won't really harm my trees, but they will defolliate them.

Thumbnail by deedeeb
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Kelli
L.A. (Canoga Park), CA
(Zone 10a)

March 17, 2004
6:54 PM

Post #810910

The first one certainly looks like a tent caterpillar. (I can't stand them. Just looking at that picture makes my skin crawl.) Tent caterpillars shouldn't kill a healthy tree but the nest looks awful. You should be able to kill them by spraying with Bt. It kills all caterpillars, so don't spray on milkweed or other food plants of desirable butterflies.

kooger

kooger
Oostburg, WI
(Zone 5b)

March 18, 2004
9:42 AM

Post #811561

We had a class on entomology and they talked about tent caterpillars. They said to remove the tents at night because the caterpillars return to their tent everynight so you will get them all then. ? Don't have to spray then. Worth a try?!

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


March 18, 2004
12:31 PM

Post #811616

I keep my handy dandy propane torch ready at all times and if the tent is low enough I bar-b-q the little varmints.

As kooger said, I wait till dusk and then start cookin'. No chemicals and no killing of innocent good bugs.

barbi
Granbury, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 18, 2004
2:52 PM

Post #811722

I'm not sure what you have..some info and pics on tent caterpillars..

http://www.uky.edu/Agriculture/Entomology/entfacts/trees/ef423.htm
southernOhio
Proctorville, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 18, 2004
6:02 PM

Post #811934

Yep that 1st pic sure was a tent caterpillar. It is a good time to mention it tho.

If you look at bare trees about this time. You can see their egg sacs. They are brown & encircle the smaller twigs.
They feel like styrofoam, but the peel off easily. They especially like to be on fruit trees, birch, wild cherry.

If you do peel them off , It is a great way to cut down on the worms in spring.
Dravencat
Edgewater, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 18, 2004
6:18 PM

Post #811970

dont the praying mantis encircle the branch also? wouldnt want to destroy one of those by accident.
southernOhio
Proctorville, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 19, 2004
1:12 PM

Post #812752

This is a very good point to bring up,...
Yes, and the praying mantis eggs are styrofoam like. But they are a light colored and about 1-2 inches large. & irregular shaped.
The tent caterpillar eggs are smooth brown tube like 1/2- 3/4" long & 1/2 inch wide tube. Theyblend in.

I never have found a picture of the egg sac on the net. I should just take one of my own.


deedeeb
DeLand, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 21, 2004
12:16 PM

Post #814448

Thanks, everyone, for all the info. I've been destroying the tent catepillars.

I found out what the tiny catepillars I mentioned are, which I originally thought were immature tent catepillars. They're oak worms, and they're all over everything, hanging from the trees and garden plants. I'm told they'll all disappear in a few weeks. I found an article on these, and although it's specifies California, I believe it applies to Florida as well.
http://www.forestdata.com/oakworms.htm

This message was edited Mar 21, 2004 9:19 AM

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