What are those webs in my trees?
This time of year, particularly after a mild winter, we start to see more and more webs and worms in local trees. A common question we hear customers asking is, ‘what are these webs in my trees??’ The question is entirely warranted of course because with the webs comes caterpillars that can cause stress and decline in your foliage. So what is causing the webs? Eastern Tent Caterpillars.
What is an Eastern Tent Caterpillar?
Eastern tent caterpillars, which are often mistaken for the gypsy moth, are easily and readily identifiable for the tent (hence the name) that they construct in the fork of tree branches. Oftentimes they are seen in roadside trees or in neglected orchards, but they can also find their way into the trees and shrubbery in your yard. Tent caterpillars spend the winter hibernating in their egg masses, which look like shiny brown bands that are wrapped around tree twigs. Come spring, they hatch (typically around the same time that your trees start to bud) and start spinning their silken tents or webs. The tents actually serve as protector from predators; however, the downside for your trees is that the caterpillars will venture out at night to feed on the leaves.
How does it effect my trees and shrubs?
Eastern Tent Caterpillars can multiply rapidly, and as a result, can defoliate a large number of trees and shrubs in a short amount of time. The tents are also unsightly as they grow larger and larger. After a mild winter (like this past winter) you can expect to see an earlier arrival of Eastern Tent Caterpillars. The caterpillars can do significant damage to your trees as they destroy foliage and add stress to the trees.
What can I do to prevent damage from Eastern Tent Caterpillars?
Destroying the tents is one option, but can become frustrating and time consuming. For expert treatment, contact Sussex Tree Inc. Our team can prevent loss of foliage and alleviate the stress and decline to your trees. Contact us today for more information.