Tent caterpillars! Eeewwwww! We had them in our plum tree a few years ago, the neighbors have them in all their trees and I guess they finally killed the trees so they moved into ours. It was gross, but we cut out the branches and burned them alive!
Is that what they are? Will they gobble up my veggies?
We have Eastern Tent Caterpillars here, but there are different varieties in other parts of the country, but it definitely looks like it! I wouldn't expect them to eat your veggies so much as destroy your trees - they defoliate the tree and then just move to the next one. Spraying doesn't work that well, we have found the best way is to get them when there are only a few nests like this, cut them off and burn them. The entire tree will be encased in this stuff by midsummer otherwise. Check the internet or Extension Service to see what works in your area for those little buggers, good luck!
Thanks for the info, Erin. At first, having those trees defoliated doesn't sound so bad - they're keeping my garden from getting more sunlight that it could use.. But the thought of a whole tree covered in those critters makes my skin crawl! I'll call our extension office this afternoon to see what I can find.
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