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View Full Version : Tent Caterpillars already



Joe Pelonio
05-26-2012, 4:40 PM
Looks like this will be a bad year for tent caterpillars, if they are starting this early. I saw one on the wall
of the house so decided to inspect my trees, bonsai and otherwise. I found 4 of the buggers, all on my 145 year old hemlock. They were starting to spin webs on the new spring growth. After picking them off and squishing, I'm wondering if anyone has a suggestion for a spray harmless to the trees that will discourage them if more eggs
hatch. I've never seen them on a conifer before. In the past I have had them a few times in summer on alders and apples in the yard, and usually cut off the whole branch end and burn it, but I really don't want to do that with bonsai.

:mad:

Steven Green
05-26-2012, 6:09 PM
I'd use Malathion Joe. In the scheme of things it's pretty safe for people and is also safe for trees. We have tent caterpillars in conifers here as well as deciduous trees and use Malathion on them.

John Shuk
05-26-2012, 8:05 PM
I tear into the tents that I can get to and spray Wasp Spray until I get most of them. I do it each year and there seems to be a bit less each year. At my place they go after the cherry trees.

Chuck Wintle
05-26-2012, 8:17 PM
i saw someone use a kerosene torch and burn them out of the trees...that said others prune the branch with them and dispose of it.

Joe Pelonio
05-26-2012, 8:57 PM
i saw someone use a kerosene torch and burn them out of the trees...that said others prune the branch with them and dispose of it.

Remember I'm talking about my bonsai, they will lose a lot of their appeal with burned off branches.:eek: I'll try the malathion.

Here's the one that had the 4 on it.

Brian Elfert
05-26-2012, 11:26 PM
Are these the things that kinda make sticky webs and make a mess of cars in rural areas with narrow tree lined roads?

Ted Calver
05-27-2012, 12:29 AM
Joe,

Why not just hand pick the plants as necessary and spray the surrounding area with malathion. I sure wouldn't risk chemicals on my bonsai and it's only 25 years old.

Joe Pelonio
05-27-2012, 10:11 AM
Joe,

Why not just hand pick the plants as necessary and spray the surrounding area with malathion. I sure wouldn't risk chemicals on my bonsai and it's only 25 years old.
I have close to 100 bonsai, and it does take a lot of time to go over all of them looking for the caterpillars and hand picking. Some of my others are actually more likely to get them, like alders, elm, and aspen. I have discovered BT, (bacillus thuringiensis) which is supposed to be safe for plants and the good insects and will give that a try first. After picking I found another on on the same tree later in the day.

Myk Rian
05-27-2012, 11:16 PM
We've had TCs around here for 2 months already. Although the number of them is VERY small compared to past years.

David G Baker
05-28-2012, 6:09 PM
I prune my tree branches when it is close to Sundown that way the worms are back in the tent. I spray barbecue lighter fluid the pruned branches and burn them.