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CLOSED: Eastern Tent Catepillar?

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

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
DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

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
L.A. (Canoga Park), CA(Zone 10a)

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.

Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

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?!

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

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.

Granbury, TX(Zone 7b)

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

Proctorville, OH(Zone 5b)

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.

Edgewater, MD(Zone 7a)

dont the praying mantis encircle the branch also? wouldnt want to destroy one of those by accident.

Proctorville, OH(Zone 5b)

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.

DeLand, FL(Zone 9b)

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.

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

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