“Tent caterpillars” are a nuisance caterpillar which can be defined as larvae from various moth and butterfly species. They’re common throughout the United States and Canada, and anyone who has Maple trees may eventually encounter them. These annoying pests can cause huge damage, leaving an unsightly mess, but they are not generally threatening to the life of the tree.
When tent caterpillars begin to defoliate Maple trees and shrubs it’s time to spend a little energy to stop the infestation. Their larvae produce unsightly “tents” (which give them their nickname). Thankfully, they’re managed with some relatively easy maintenance and preventative measures.
Tear out those protective tents before the larvae start to feed and make matters worse. Overwintering egg masses need to be scraped off and discarded before they turn into additional caterpillars. Pre-coated tree bands or pest barriers can hinder movement of the pests, and have the benefit of prohibiting gypsy moth, cankerworm, and ant infestation.
Choose Sprays Wisely
A natural bacteria known as Bacillus Thuringiensis (or Bt-kurstaki) can be sprayed to protect leaves and foliage. You may find it at the garden center with the name “BTK spray.” Spinosad (another biological agent derived from fermentation) might also get the job done. Avoid sprays with synthetic chemicals. They can cause more harm than good.
Eradicate tent caterpillar pests early and Maple trees can be restored to their natural beauty.
If you’d rather have experts handle the situation, call in a professional arborist in Toronto areas and the GTA. Caledon Treeland can take care of your tree service needs; give us a call at (905) 880-1828 and we’ll advise you on any infestation or tree problem.