So How Do You Keep Your Trees Healthy?
The Tent Caterpillar is native to Michigan and so fortunately there are native natural controls.
One includes an effective parasite known as "The Friendly Fly". This guy lays his eggs on the tent caterpillar cocoon, preventing them from developing into adult moths.
These "friendly flies" do not bite, thankfully, because they do seem to want to land on you!
Several species of other flies and wasps parasitize the eggs, larvae and pupae of the forest tent caterpillars. Predatory flies, beetles, ants, spiders, birds, wood frogs, deer mice, skunks, bears and toads also feed on forest tent caterpillars.
In the spring, spraying Bt, (a biological insecticide), on the leaves can help protect foliage without affecting natural enemies. Since we are opposed of other insecticides, the only other option is to destroy the batch of caterpillars manually. The branch can be pruned off with the attached tent and burned. Any caterpillars seen on the tree branches and trunk can be squished...we recommend wearing gloves!
Now, if you have a tree that was affected by these hungry caterpillars, if at all possible, see that the tree gets at least an inch of water per week during the growing season and possibly apply a slow release fertilizer.
Woodlot owners should focus on keeping their forest healthy by periodically removing trees that are in poor condition. This will also increase the amount of sunlight available to remaining trees and reduce competition for water and nutrients. This is where we can come in and can offer suggestions for a healthy thriving woodlot.
David & Valerie Zimmer
Buyers of standing timber and owners of Greater Michigan Timber Management, a Forest and Timber Management company located in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan.
Call us for all your forest management needs at
(989) 390-0705 or
We are happy to answer any question you may have.
Greater Michigan Timber Management. Buyers of standing timber. Specializing in sustainable forestry management and sound stewardship practices.
Greater Michigan Timber Management: The timber management company that cares!