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Tent Caterpillars

            Tent Caterpillars and Their Effects on the Forests in Canada.
             The tent caterpillars population has been slowly increasing over the last 5-10 years. The .
             sudden changes in the weather in Canada, making it a warmer place to live is the result of .
             the infestation of tent caterpillars. Some people have resorted to using pesticides to .
             eliminate the caterpillars such as diazinon, malathion or sevin. Spraying doesn't control .
             the overall population of caterpillars, but it does reduce their numbers and makes them .
             less of a nuisance to humans in certain areas. But pesticides are not the answer. They can .
             harm animals and other insects in the process, therefore causing the food chain to go off .
             balance. Pesticides may even cause the extinction of other animals in the process of .
             trying to reduce the population of just one species. The easiest and most logical way to .
             reduce the infestation of Tent caterpillars are by destroying their nests or by inviting .
             nearby birds to come feed on them by placing bird baths and feeders around your .
             property. Forest tent caterpillar egg masses are laid in summer on twigs of the trees and .
             shrubs, and stay throughout the winter. Since each egg mass contains up to several .
             hundred caterpillars, you can significantly reduce the number of caterpillars that may .
             hatch the following spring by removing egg masses before they hatch. This method is .
             very effective to protect smaller trees and shrubs.
             Egg .
             masses are sturdy structures that encircle small twigs. They are a quarter to three quarter .
             inch long, and covered with a glossy brown material that protects the egg contents during .
             cold winters. You may find some old egg masses from last year. They are lighter in .
             colour with small cavities where the caterpillars have hatched. Tent caterpillars feed on .
             deciduous trees in many parts of Canada. There are outbreaks of the population doubling .
             the population of the insects for mover 2 years at a time.

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