Oh Bother and blast,, they are back

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by bergere, Apr 10, 2004.

  1. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    ... The Tent caterpillars that is. Have been told by a number of people that they come around in this area "Once" about every 7years. Well, have not seen them before last year and have been here 11 years now. Last year was really bad...
    Anyway,, they are back just as bad as last year.... :eek: :( Nasty evil creatures they are.

    Managing to keep the the Fruit trees clear, by hand picking and applying Soap, Oil and tobasco sauce spray.

    Guess the locals were wrong this time,, Sigh ~ ~~
    Sure wish there was a magic wand to make them disappear!
     
  2. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've seen only 2 so far -- I am hoping they are just timewarped oddities. I squashed 'em as quickly and instinctively as a cat swiping a small moving object with its paw. We cut down the bitter cherry and alders where last year the infestation from hell began, in hopes that the caterpillars would not come again. Yeah, I heard that 7 year plague thing, too, but last year was the 2nd year in a row...the house and roads were furry with them. No, no! Say it ain't so! Not 3 years in a row!!
     

  3. I have an elm that we cut back year before last, because of the worms, and we had them again last year. I was hoping to get out of it this year, but I better start spraying. We went for a drive in the country today and I saw several webs started. Oh......... I hate for this to start, but hope to be able to kill them. There is a bacteria that works, I need to call for it tomorrow.
     
  4. healing herbals

    healing herbals Pam in OK

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    Sorry, that last post was me
     
  5. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    Snoozy, down this way, They are covering most of the Alder and native Dog wood trees, it looks like winter again. If these little buggers can't be brought under control, I fear we are going to lose a lot of trees.
    Yes, sadly it looks like another plague year. :no:

    healing herbals, what is the name of that bacteria?? And where do you get it?
     
  6. Darren in TN

    Darren in TN Guest

    I think that these buggers are susceptible to Bacillus thuringensis (Bt) which can be bought as a powder of dried spores and dessicant. Haven't used it myself, but I've read some about it. Don't confuse this with Bt toxin which is used in some GM crops, etc.-- this is the actual bacteria, which infects the susceptible bugs and kills them, but doesn't harm humans, livestock, etc.
     
  7. healing herbals

    healing herbals Pam in OK

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    I am renewing this thread so that everyone can get a heads up before the season starts this year. Bt is the bacteria recommended, and I tried it, and it seemed to work the first part of the season, then I either didn't keep up with it enough (you have to spray weekly or after a rain, etc). I completely cut my elm down last fall, partly because of the webs,(they loved that tree, but will get in others (that I am going to be fighting this year) and partly to have more sun in my front yard, to put a raised bed in.
     
  8. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

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    I used BT on alders in WA state and it worked very well. I would think that by respraying when it has rained, it should continue to work. You really need to get coverage on the leaves, as high as you can. The bacteria make the worms sick enuf to die! I would start spraying with the first worm I saw. Takes diligence, but we never saw another infestation in the years we were there.
     
  9. Bernadette

    Bernadette Enjoying Polish Rabbits

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    Just remember that BT kills ALL caterpillers. The cabbage moth, tent caterpillers, but also all the caterpillers that turn into the beautiful butterflies we enjoy. Be specific with the plants you use it on, and target just the caterpillers you really want rid of.
     
  10. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I've tried hose spraying with BT. It's fairly slow acting and with a huge infestation of tent caterpillars, they will have done plenty of damage before the Bt takes effect to kill them with the bacteria. I really never put a dent into to population as they can spread incessantly, with new caterpillars coming in until they coccoon in mid summer around here.
    Early 90's in my immediate area was a huge infestation that denuded poplar leaves for miles. Again in 2000 they were back. It's a 10 year cycle in this region and peak of infestation is followed by another year of lesser, but bad hatch of the caterpillars. The natural fly which parasites the tent caterpillar lays eggs in them to finally reduce the numbers. When you begin seeing what looks like house flies with checkerboard pattern on their back, then you know if these arrive in big numbers, it will finally reduce the tent caterpillar population.

    Bush beans and fruit tree leaves seemed to be a preferecne for the caterpillars. Use tanglefoot around trees you want to keep the caterpillars from climbing. Beans usually would be a write off. Till in the caterpillars, at least something organic returned to the soil.

    p.s. I'm also leary of using Bt because of possible harm to honey bees and their larva.