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tent caterpillars! Ick....

Posted by charleney 8a PNW (My Page) on
Wed, May 21, 14 at 16:53

The park south of us is loaded with tent caterpillars. OMG..it is disgusting. Even a nursery, also south of us had them even crawling out of their shrubbery, and onto the parking lot.
I believe that they go in cycles from north to south. We have only had one horrible time about 9 year ago. The roses looked like drumsticks, crawling brown. I tried everything on them to kill them. The TB did not work . All the water sprays, etc, etc, did not work. Store suggested Malathion. That worked for all of 2 days, and they were back in force. Don't suggested squishing. I tried. I am not at all squeamish, but they were so thick, it gagged me. I will not attempt that again.
I only spray fungicide, as I don't wish to kill the 'Good Guys'. Though they haven't showed up here, yet...I am worried.
Suggestions anyone?????????


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: tent caterpillars! Ick....

Hi, I'm new to the forum but not to tent caterpillars. I live on the N. Olympic Peninsula across the Strait from Victoria BC. My climate is very similar to yours but with a marine influence. Every AM & PM I patrol my small city lot for the darn TCs, I prune them off the branches, they seem to prefer my apple, birch & quince trees, haven't seen them in the roses yet (I have 46) & we've been infested with them for 2 years, they become moths & then the birds get them.


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RE: tent caterpillars! Ick....

Hi, I'm new to the forum but not to tent caterpillars. I live on the N. Olympic Peninsula across the Strait from Victoria BC. My climate is very similar to yours but with a marine influence. Every AM & PM I patrol my small city lot for the darn TCs, I prune them off the branches, they seem to prefer my apple, birch & quince trees, haven't seen them in the roses yet (I have 46) & we've been infested with them for 2 years, they become moths & then the birds get them.


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RE: tent caterpillars! Ick....

Mea culpa, i double-posted, wish I knew how I did that.


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RE: tent caterpillars! Ick....

They are gross. Haven't seen them in several years..perhaps they are cycling back in


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RE: tent caterpillars! Ick....

After they defoliate the host tree, they drop to the ground and gallop around looking for rose bushes. BT (Bacillus thuringensis) does work, and is safe for everything but caterpillars, but it doesn't kill them immediately. It should be reapplied after a rain.


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RE: tent caterpillars! Ick....

I had never had them on the roses till that year either Zyperiris. And until I saw them, I would not have believed it. They were crawling across the 2 lane roads, and up the sides of houses. Some guy was in a wreck because he was coming around a curve, and slid in them. I kept saying my roses looked like to bowels of hell out there. Just keep watching! I will report if I see them. I think when I finally sprayed the Malathion on them, that I should have sprayed the lawn too, as I saw them crawling in the grass too. Keep your fingers crossed that they bypass us this time.


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RE: tent caterpillars! Ick....

If you rip the tents open, birds and wasps will do the rest.


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RE: tent caterpillars! Ick....

We used to have them only on a few fruit trees, and did the clip and burn them..Actually never saw any tents on roses. Just had gobs of them on the roses. So I don't think exposing them for the birds etc. would have worked on those. I will be extremely watchful, though, as I do not ever use poisons in yard. I love seeing the birds and finally having the bees returning a bit. The BT did not work well for me, probably because they were too deep on the buds and canes. I will keep trying everything again before poison. Just hoping someone can come up with a fantastic idea.


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RE: tent caterpillars! Ick....

Hey, maybe I will try the all purpose flour trick on them. I was advised to sprinkle it on for aphids...wait 15 or so minutes and come back and hose them down. Oh Well! anything is worth a try before poison.


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RE: tent caterpillars! Ick....

  • Posted by jim1961 6a Central Pa. (My Page) on
    Thu, May 22, 14 at 20:17

Sounds like a horror movie charleney ...
Best wishes those things stay away from your roses!


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RE: tent caterpillars! Ick....

Thank you Jim. A horror movie was a good description. Bless you for your sympathies.


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RE: tent caterpillars! Ick....

BT is not a poison, but an organic remedy. It is a disease that only affects caterpillars, not even other insects.


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RE: tent caterpillars! Ick....

Thanks MichaelG. I will see if I can find the BT that is used before. What does it do to the earthworms that I keep feeding, though?


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RE: tent caterpillars! Ick....

Doesn't affect anything but caterpillars (moth and butterfly larvae). Takes a few days to kill, but they stop feeding sooner.


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