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Old 03-06-2012, 07:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First tent caterpillars of the season

I just dealt with the first tent caterpillars of the season. I generally cut the infested branches out of the tree to remove them. I have found if you leave them too close to a fruit tree on the ground they will simply crawl right back up the tree and reestablish themselves.

Today after cutting topmost a branch that was infested I walked a little distance away and found a fireant mound. I thrust the cocoon covered branch into the mound. I then took small twigs and pulled the caterpillars out of the of the cocooned branch and thrust them into the mound. Hopefully the ants will do them in, but I am not sure of that. Many larvae will store noxious products in their bodies to make them unpleasant for other critter to eat. For those that do not know them fireants are voracious and also ferocious killers and they love to eat other critters.

What is the best way to get rid of tent caterpillars?
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: First tent caterpillars of the season

I'd say burn 'em.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: First tent caterpillars of the season

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Originally Posted by barnetmill View Post
I just dealt with the first tent caterpillars of the season. I generally cut the infested branches out of the tree to remove them. I have found if you leave them too close to a fruit tree on the ground they will simply crawl right back up the tree and reestablish themselves.

Today after cutting topmost a branch that was infested I walked a little distance away and found a fireant mound. I thrust the cocoon covered branch into the mound. I then took small twigs and pulled the caterpillars out of the of the cocooned branch and thrust them into the mound. Hopefully the ants will do them in, but I am not sure of that. Many larvae will store noxious products in their bodies to make them unpleasant for other critter to eat. For those that do not know them fireants are voracious and also ferocious killers and they love to eat other critters.

What is the best way to get rid of tent caterpillars?
BT
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: First tent caterpillars of the season

Cut the infected branch. Spray a little lighter fluid on the tent, throw it on the grill, and light it off.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: First tent caterpillars of the season

Well this morning just before leaving for work I noted that the caterpillars were still alive on top of the ant mound and were not attracting too much attention from the ants. Lesson: fire ants will not kill these pests. In the future I will spray the caterpillars with something. Many people believe that when spraying a flammable, volatile, hydrocarbon on to an insect it is necessary to light it. I know it is fun for many, but my experience is that just contact with such material will kill an insect.
I have noticed many long thin reddish sucking bugs on my pears this years along with the normal large smelly leaf hoppers. In the future I need to do something about these, but dislike a general spraying of the trees due to the killing of beneficial insects.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: First tent caterpillars of the season

Like Tony suggested, use BT or also known as Thuricide. It is for control of caterpillars and we intend to use it a lot this year since we are growing passion fruit vines and they sure do love to munch on them. Have seen about 20 caterpillars already this year so the time to start is now. Good luck.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: First tent caterpillars of the season

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Like Tony suggested, use BT or also known as Thuricide. It is for control of caterpillars and we intend to use it a lot this year since we are growing passion fruit vines and they sure do love to munch on them. Have seen about 20 caterpillars already this year so the time to start is now. Good luck.
At first I did not understand what BT was and thanks for elaborating on it. I will have to see what is available at my local garden outlets. I was not aware that any application would penetrate the tent canopy that is put out by tent caterpillars and perhaps the BT can do the job. But there are certainly a lot of other caterpillars that attack my fruit trees and bushes that can also be taken down by BT.
At the outlets I need to also obtain some sort of paint to cover the wounds I left in cutting off for friends some unwanted live oak limbs that I will use for firewood.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: First tent caterpillars of the season

Hate to do it, but I've been spraying them. We used to just cut the affected branch off and throw the tent in the burning barrel. But if I did that, I wouldn't have any tree left! We have a beautiful crabapple tree in our yard, that's what they go on every year. I'm assuming that the eggs are left there, and they hatch? Or do they actually crawl around and find the host tree? I saw they make rings to put on tree trunks to keep them from climbing up the tree, but if they hatched there, that would surely do no good! I battle them EVERY year....only this one tree, but a few large tents. Spraying seemed like the only thing I could do...
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: First tent caterpillars of the season

I found out that there is more than one type of tent caterpillar and so they can be about most anytime of the growing season. If the tree is small in the future I will pick them off and put them into a petroleum liquid to make them die. I have a lot of bad gasoline that should do the trick to be put in old rejected gas tanks that should do the job. The sucking bugs (Hemipterans) also seem to do a lot damage to my tree leaves and fruit. I may try topically spraying visible bugs individually and instead of the entire tree. These things are big and easy to spot, but can be hard to reach at times.
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: First tent caterpillars of the season

Test Your Knowledge : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina

Tent Caterpillars | Control of Tent Caterpillars | Garden Stuffs

Last edited by sunfish : 03-07-2012 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: First tent caterpillars of the season

You realize that the catapillars on your passion vines are probably butterflies? I hate to kill them, so I grow a couple of vines just for them and relocate them from my more treasured vines. Passion vine is the main, if not sole, food source of the Gulf Fitalliary butterfly. If you're not familiar with it, that's the one that looks like a monarch, maybe smaller.

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