Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners

Tent Caterpillars

Tent caterpillar egg masses are easy to see during the dormant season on twigs of apple, cherry, wild cherry, pear, shadblow, mountain ash, and other trees of the rose family. They look like tiny bubbles  of dried glue. Gather them but do not burn them. Place them outdoors where the worms may hatch but not reach any food. They will thus do no harm. The most important point of keeping the masses thus is  to enable the tiny parasites that live on the caterpillars while still in the eggs to have a chance to escape and kill other pestiferous insects. These parasites are minute insects (various species known  as proctotrupids -the smallest known insects- chalcids and others). They lay their eggs inside the eggs of larger insects which are thus destroyed. Therefore save their lives by saving the caterpillar egg masses. 

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See also: Garden Pests

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