Saturday, March 26, 2016

Tent Caterpillars

Spring is a wonderful time of the year. After the cold, gray days of winter, the burst of new life and color of spring is a welcome reminder of the renewal of life. Maybe that's why we celebrate Easter at this time of year. Pagan holidays and religious observances intersect.

But one of the downsides of the life renewal of spring is the return of the parasites.  This past winter I took care of the telemarketer parasites. Now it was time to take care of the spring parasites. Tent caterpillars specifically.   Oh sure, I hear the argument "They deserve to live too" but folks, not on my wild cherry tree. NO way, NO how. They got to go. 

Not too many years ago an anonymous bird or birds deposited some wild cherry tree seeds (and you know how they "deposited" those seeds, don't ask me to go into detail) at the perimeter of my backyard wildlife sanctuary. This was one planting I didn't have to buy.  During the summer I pull up many wild cherry tree seedlings that are in an inappropriate place but this seedling was perfectly placed. The many birds who visit my backyard wildlife sanctuary during the season LOVE those wild cherries.  I see many of those seeds in my eight birdbaths. Thus, this was one "weed" I didn't pull up.

Then last year I noticed the ugly emergence of tent caterpillars.  You have all seen a tree decimated by tent caterpillars.  Always a sad sight.  Well, I was determined not to lose my wild cherry tree to this particular, unwelcome parasite.  And just as I got rid of the telemarketers calling my land line phone daily, I got rid of those tent caterpillars. 

The way I got rid of them was by destroying their tents when they are young and crawling up and down the smooth wild cherry tree bark to the young leaves of the wild cherry tree.  I found if I kept the young caterpillars busy rebuilding their tents until the leaves fully emerged, then I could starve the caterpillars and thus save at least one wild cherry tree for a food source for my backyard visitors. And that's what I'm showing you here on this blog post of the video that Bill took of me just a short while ago "brushing" the young tent caterpillars's tents.  

Hey, who else do you know who posts blogs about controlling tent caterpillars?  Just one more reason why you should ALWAYS visit my blog.  To quote the famous Forest Gump (referring to a box of chocolates):

"You just never know what you're going to get."


Ur-spo said...

I suppose I could cut and paste the gentle rebukes you have given me about scorpions and send them to you for these poor caterpillars?

Ron said...

Dr. Spo,

Anonymous said...

I wonder ; why are these caterpillars not eaten by the many birds in your garden ?
This early in the year there is not that much food around . Or do the birds not like them for some reason ?

wynajem hali magazynowej said...

Cool post man! Keep it up! :)