EASTERN TENT CATERPILLAREastern tent caterpillars spin webs on various ornamental and flowering trees during April, May and early June. Caterpillars are bluish-black with a white stripe down the middle of their back with two yellowish-red lines on either side and feed on leaves. Caterpillars leave the safety of the silken web to feed.
Most insecticides will not penetrate the silken tent. The tent needs to be broken before the chemical is applied.
Another control method is to remove the branch and destroy the nest.
Eastern tent caterpillar are cyclic problemse. As the population builds, so does the population of birds and other natural enemies that feed on the caterpillars. This, however, may take a couple years.
Damage can be severe as plants are forced in the early spring to use the remaining stored energy to produce new leaves.