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All About the Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Eastern tent caterpillars are all over Baltimore in the late spring on black cherry trees, ornamental apple trees, and ornamental cherry trees. While these caterpillars aren’t pests to be treated, sidewalks and trees will be teeming with them shortly.

How Can You Identify the Eastern Tent Caterpillar?

These pests lay eggs on the thin twigs on cherry trees. The eggs will hatch in the early weeks of April and caterpillars will quickly mature. Young eastern tent caterpillars are black and spin silk tents in the branches near the hatch site. As the caterpillars mature, the tents will get bigger.

Once the eastern tent caterpillar is mature, it will have a white stripe down the back. The majority of damage is done over the course of May when these caterpillars and forest tent caterpillars will chow down. The caterpillars that survive will turn into brown moths.

Fun Facts About Eastern Tent Caterpillars

  • Caterpillars use the tents for a sleeping area at night, as well as for food storage.
  • Eastern tent caterpillars are not harmful to humans or pets.
  • Tent caterpillars do not do any lasting damage to trees or foliage.
  • These caterpillars use pheromones to mark off trails on host trees.
  • Caterpillars live in close quarters in tents to keep each other warm during chilly spring nights.

If the Eastern Tent Caterpillar Is Bothering You

Control should not be needed with these caterpillars. After the caterpillars leave the tent, birds and insect-eaters will quickly turn them into food. When you prune during the fall, winter and early spring you can get rid of egg masses to prevent caterpillars from returning.

Keep Your Yard Safe from Pests This Spring

Brody Brothers Pest Control works with hundreds of property owners every year to keep properties safe and free from harmful insects, animals, and pests. Brody Brothers Quality Pest Control can treat any problems and maintain your property to minimize risks.

Schedule a property inspection with Brody Brothers Quality Pest Control. Give us a call at 410-653-2121 .