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ok some tent worm photos..yum..  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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well i tried to get some photos of the tent worms..then sun was going down in the direction i had to take photos and i was in a car on the expressway..so the shots are pretty bad..tried to do some close up so you could see, but the webs on the trunks aren't that easy to see, one of the first ones i stopped and got some closer shots..
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the above photos were taken 1/4 mile from our house in a neighbors front yard..uk..
the green foliage you see is mostly pine trees in the following photos...sorry about the quality of the photos.
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following taken at 70 MPH on expressway
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Brenda Groth
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i tried to get you photos of full size trees, rather than smaller trees..as you can see those trees are huge and they are completely stripped top to bottom of leaves, and the trunks are coated with a film of white webs as well as the big bags..the 3rd picture if you look close at the tree trunks you can see how they coat the trunk and branches besides just the webs.

in the darker pictures..the white you can see is the webs on the trees that have been stripped and the dark is the pine trees behind them
 
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yuck! those things are such a menace. we must have a different species around here. they tend to build nests in the outer reaches of trees rather then right along the trunk. such as in the pictures in the following link.
http://www.realgreenlawns.com/austin_tx_texas/webwormsx.htm
 
Brenda Groth
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they are probably the same things as we have..this is just an abnormal invasion..they came on early and attacked every tree that had leaves on it..thankfully most of our trees had not yet leafed out when they came on..just the fruit trees, maples and aspens..the oaks and ash were still leafless..however..the gypsy moth worm likes to attack those so we aren't out of the woods with those yet.

generally you see an occasional nest or two in a tree, this year, the entire trees were entombed in the stuff..like a spider horror flick...i've never seen them THIS bad..we have had bad years in the past but this is bad..and after the worst  Winter in 60 years and killing frosts every week..(4 last week and 28 degrees this morning) we are going to have a hard crop year all over the state..and I don't know how far this infestation has gone but I hear that other people have been having news stories on how bad it is in their areas too.

gypsy moths won't even hatch until the temps stabilize here so that will be round 3 (hard winter, tent worms..then those)
 
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Check this out. they are from "spindle ermine moths".

Unbelievable! 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1188650/Thousands-marauding-caterpillars-trap-car-silky-web.html
 
Brenda Groth
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note, our trees that were demolished did recover and re leaf out..later in the year.
 
steward
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Is it time to start putting together strategies for the next attack?

 
Brenda Groth
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noticed the first tent worms yesterday on our apple tree, will be mixing up some BT today and spraying it...hate these things
 
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n i tell you that in china they use blue tailed magpies for tent worms in england the corvidos have been decimated they are considered vermint and shot, if we h ad a healthy amount of magpies crows and such we would not have tent worms.
  in china they had a man with a wagon of azure winged magpies and he took them to places were there were tent worms. It could be a job for someone out of work, he shepherded them playing a pipe. it is fun training birds, time consuming but fun there must be some crazy wild animal freak young men or women in american villages, their are some here and in england who would try it maybve the sort of people who have hawks and such.
          I bet it would be a money spinner, there are lots of people who have allergies to tent worms, when tent worms settled near urbanisations they woudl pay well to have someone get rid of them. Brenda Groth are there no likely lads a nd lasses down your way who would steal some magpie eggs for you, stealing eggs used to be considered a normal prank for the young in the old days. Do you have an incubator? Paul wheaton is the one always off with odd bods he must know more than anyone else maybe he coudl find one. Leah woudl be good at it she is adventurouse and likes animals though havign a new baby does not turn one into the best animal trainer in the world, it is a bit of your nature aleady overly occupied .
              Another way would be to try to attract magpies by hanging up bits of meat in infected trees to see if they would take to the job once introduced to the problem.
      Get in touch with a bird society to find out which birds do the trick . I could try that .
          I saw the azure winged magpies being taken to eat tent worms on a insects in china documentary, though it was dreamy and sounds unreal  i really saw it . They did not show how he got them back into the van . The other interesting thing they said was that killing sparrows had caused a plague of insects that casused a great famine and they had worked out how much manure insects produce, so their value for producing soils.   
      I looked up tent worms on the internet  where they had more orthdox methods of getting rid of them. They say the worms party all day on the tree and return to the tents at night and you have to hit down their tents in the evening and, burn them i think it was. It is possible often to think of alternatives to reaching for the pesticides.
      I think i have a photo of the blighters on the ground waiting to mozzy off to attack my trees. agri rose macaskie.
 
Brenda Groth
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sprayed BT and 2 hours later it rained, then over night it snowed (neither in the forcast)..so that was a waste..but i'll be back at it as soon as it is nice..they are everywhere already and the birds that eat them have not migrated here  yet..(baltimore orioles)
 
rose macaskie
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Brenda Groth, spraying turns you into a complete traitor to permacultural ideas. You will kill the birds who eat the poisoned worms, so getting rid of natural controlers of tent worms. It gives a bad example, and stops you finding out what happens if you don't spray. It is unimaginative not to look for a healthier way of acting and that is one things pesticides do they are too easy we stop looking for any other answer. I hope it does not work.
    I don't feel that ageressive about it, I just think ithat ist is right to be super anti pesticides, I can't stop my husband fro using them i have no experience that protesting makes a difference ¡in what he does and he does know that i don't approve .
      I think that at first people thought of pesticides as for use in very drastic circumstances and later they just got to using them all the time . Using pesticides is a bit lethal and it is hard to imagine that at first people imagined using them all the time.
        sepp holzer says that having to many of one type of tree is part of the reason for having pests, you have to have popolars and such in very wet places. There just has to be a certain loss nature being what it is. Rose.
 
Brenda Groth
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the stuff i'm spraying is organic..it is bt...the birds won't eat the dead worms..they aren't that stupid..and the dead worms are not poison..

the bt is a nontoxic stuff that gets into the gut of the worm and the worm can't digest it and the worm dies..but it isn't poison to anything else..

we are careful to not use it on plants that might kill larvae of butterflies..only the leaves of the plants affected by the tent worms..which are basically apple and cherry trees.

i always purchase organic items when it is necessary to use them..and when you have these horrible infestations..it is necessary to save the trees..

the birds that eat the tent worms have not even returned in migration yet this year..as we had early spring..they  won't be here for another 2 weeks at least.

the only birds that eat caterpillars of tent worms or gypsy moths are Baltimore orioles..and we know when they come cause we put out feeders for them..and they aren't here yet.

and i'm only spraying 3 cherry trees an a few apple trees with the bt.

for more information on but look it up..google it..
 
rose macaskie
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I took this photo of what i suppose are tent worms because they were on the ground in a group and tent worm caterpillars wander around in groups, here in Spain they are called procession caterpillars because when they are going anywhere they go in in a line one after the other. agri rose macaskie.
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Tent worms HATE fire. Spent many hours of my youth burning the tents with a lit newspaper 
 
Brenda Groth
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yikes talk about resurrecting 2  year old posts !!

Rose your worms do NOT look anything like ours..and ours are generally never on the ground.

the kind that we get love fruit trees, esp cherry and apple..also they like some other trees as well, and they will strip off every single leaf.

in 2009 when i did this post there was a huge invasion..the followiing spring there were TONS of these huge black flies, come to find out they lay their eggs in "tent worms"..and there were gobs of them, and many fewer tent worms.

it is still early here, but I haven't seen any tent worms yet..however, it is extremely wet this spring.

I did remove a lot of egg cases off of my cherry trees this winter
 
                        
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What the Baltimore Orioles have to do with tent worms, much less permaculture, is beyond me.  I mean, what are they going to do, hit them with their bats?  Practice their pitching skills on them?  I mean, c'mon... do you really think you're going to get a bunch of grown men to eat worms?

(Although... if they made it to the playoffs... no! nononono! yech...)
 
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AQ wrote:
Tent worms HATE fire. Spent many hours of my youth burning the tents with a lit newspaper 



We used to burn them too when I was young.  They totally destroyed an apple tree we had and we cut it down and had to burn all the branches it was so infested with them.

Last year they got on my cherry tree for the second time and I used organic cleaner spray.  Took a lot of repeat spraying, but we didn't lose as many leaves as before.  Any organic soap made into a spray works, I'm told. 

Had caterpillars once on a mugo pine that were so thick and camouflaged that I could have sworn the entire plant moved when I walked by.  They move to an upright position standing off of the branch then freeze when you see them.  I had to look closely as they looked like tiny branches and pine needles.  Sprayed the soap and that did it until the next year.  Had to do it the following year as they ate half the pine in one day.  You could hear them they were so thick.  No more the past 2 years.  Keeping the spray handy, though...




 
rose macaskie
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    Is there a sort of bird called an oriol?
     I like Brenda Groths tale of trees that recovered next year, because i once had a lot of i dont know what kind of plants on my balcony that got totally eaten one year by again i dont know what eater of leaves, and i just hoped that nature would sort it out, that an enemy of the pest that had eaten all the leaves of the plant would do for the pest. Next year the plant had completely recovered. It seems that hoping nature will provide a cure does not always work though.

 There are lots of sorts of tent worms, the ones that get people annoyed here attack pine trees, you can see their nests in the pine trees. What really gets people cross with them is that a lot of people are very alergic to them, they shot their hairs around the place and that makes some people feel very ill. ALso if a dog eats them, that can be the end of the dog. They move around in indian file and so are called processionary but i have no idea why they take to walking around instead of just sitting in their pine eating it up.
 
    I have just looked them up, there are several types of caterpillar that have tent like nest in trees, according to wikipedia.
   
    -Their nest has different layers or compartments that have different temperatures so the nests keep the caterpillars warm, which keeps them lively and helps their digestion. Tthey are built high enough to catch the sun that warms them and the insides are hotter than the outside are and differetn rooms in them have different temperatures they serve as a rock doe sto an amphibian the warm up catterpilars, they are caterpillar greenhouses.

     -Also according to wickipedia, the attacks of tent worms dont usually kill trees unless the trees are already stessed and weakened. they eat the first leaves of trees and the trees can recover later in the season.
        Big attacks of tent worms don't happen for many consequetive years, it seems nature does its job, the tent worm caterpillars get attacked by illnesses which greatly reduce their populations.
       -They produce a lot of manure so they have their upside. agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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brenda groth, i just hope these theads do last for years, I try so hard because i imagine this could be a source of help to many peoplle all round the world for a long time. All our efforts should help lots of people for a long time. agri rose macaskie.
 
pollinator
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We have a lot of worms and caterpillars who make nests like these where I live.

I'd like to mention that the processional caterpillars (and perhaps other caterpillars too) are fascinating but are extremely dangerous for pets (many dogs lose part or all of their tongue after licking them) and can be fatal to people who may have an anaphylactic allergic reaction to the caterpillars hairs. (Like me for example ! )

I posted lots of information in my blog which I won't repeat here after I spotted a five metre long line of them when we were out with the dogs one day.

http://lafermedesourrou.blogspot.com/search?q=caterpillars

Here's a little video I took of part of that line. (For some reason I can't embed the video in this post.)



Irene
 
Brenda Groth
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yes I'm sure the resurrected posts do help people from year to year

if you really need a spray use BT as it will kill them..very quickly....but it will also kill the good caaterpillars and it also doesn't allow the predatory critters the ability to do their job.

I suggest only spraying important plants that you can lose if they are terribly infested..and try to use other means

as for the fire..my  husband did that and did some serious fire damage to my ornamental cherry tree so remember fire also damages the trees.

best..in fall winter or early spring look for the egg cases on the nesting trees, here they are cherry types trees ..and rub them off..so far my cherries have no tent worms on them this year....so far
 
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yellow jacket wasps will do a number on these guys, as they are great predator... unfortunately, all of your neighbors are killing the wasps....
 
Brenda Groth
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    Here is an update on the tent worm problem in Michigan

Well last year we were infested with these huge black flies all spring, and we were informed that they were predators to the tent worms (above photos of infestation).

Well this year, NO TENTS ..none, not one. I did see a few worms here and there, but NOT ONE SINGLE TENT.

Evidently natural predators took control of the tent worms and took em out..woo hoo. I'm so thrilled that left up to nature, it was done.

I was amazed that in two years what was an epidemic, is now over.

Now if some squash bug predators would show up I'd be totally thrilled.
 
                            
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Brenda Groth wrote:
Now if some squash bug predators would show up I'd be totally thrilled.


I was so happy this morning when I went out and saw a couple of birds hopping around under the squash plants. Hopefully they were busy eating squash bugs.
 
Brenda Groth
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been knocking them off into buckets and throwing them in the pond then spraying with soap
 
pollinator
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I was working in the yard yesterday and noticed that yellowjackets seemed to be hunting the tent caterpillars (Hyphantria cunea, AKA Fall Webworm) around a small infestation in one of my apple trees.  The yellowjackets were capturing any caterpillars that had wandered outside of their tent.

I grabbed a stick and knocked some of the tents to the ground, which caused the caterpillars to scatter and gave the yellowjackets a feast.  I was amazed at how strong the tents were, I nearly broke my stick trying to get them off.

The caterpillars still in the tree got to work repairing their tent, and the yellowjackets got many of those too.

So I guess I can now say that yellowjackets do serve some good purpose.

I grabbed my video camera and took some video of this battle, I'll try to post it sometime.
 
Brenda Groth
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Dave I find that very interesting..now we have two new predators..i knew that some birds would eat them when they were young
 
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