Expect these fuzzy guys to pitch silky tents in the trees around your Lowcountry home
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Posted by: Jennifer Olivares
Warmer weather has arrived, and so have tent caterpillars.
These are moth larvae that build silken, communal nests in the crotches of trees just as new green leaves – prime caterpillar food -- are starting to appear. Worldwide there are 26 different species, including the familiar Eastern tent caterpillar (Malacasoma americanum), widespread throughout the eastern and central U.S. The larvae are about two inches long when fully grown, with prominent hairs, a white stripe on the back, and blue dots along the sides.
Cherry trees are typical hosts for nests, but tent caterpillars are also found on various other trees, including peach, pear, oak, poplar, willow, maple, and sweet gum.