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Tent Caterpillars back for 2018

A familiar creepy-crawler is starting to make it’s appearance around the Lakeland in 2018. Tent Caterpillars have been popping up on trees around the area. The MD of Bonnyville is addressing those who may have concerns when they see the insects.

“I’ve had reports from around Muriel Lake and Moose Lake, in the Town of Bonnyville and in the City of Cold Lake,” said M.D. Assistant Ag Fieldman, Janice Boden. “We’re now into the fifth year of the cycle.”

The good news is they’re nothing to worry about when it comes to your health and the health of the trees. The caterpillars munch on the leaves of the tree and make large silk tents before eventually becoming moths.

“Most trees can withstand defoliation,” Boden said. “The caterpillars will eat all of leaves. Most trees will see their leaves grow back later in the summer.”

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Local greenhouses and hardware stores carry BTK, a biological insecticide, which will kill the caterpillars, but will not harm dragonflies, bees, ladybugs, etc.

“Put an ice cream pail, with a couple of inches of water in it at the base of a tree, and the caterpillars will go in to get a drink and won’t be able to escape,” Boden also advises. “Or, in the morning or when it rains, they gather together. That’s a good time to gather them up, put them in a baggy and throw them in the garbage.”

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