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2014-07-05 at 9:00 AM

Invasion ahead

By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
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The forest tent caterpillar is on its way to Thunder Bay.

Local entomologist Ken Deacon said the insect is out west taking up residence in the Dryden area so the invasion in the city will happen next year, although there signs some of the bugs have already arrived.

It's not all bad news as the tent caterpillar is a native species and a population explosion every 10 to 12 years is normal.

"This is right on schedule," said Deacon Friday at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.

And while the tent caterpillar, commonly mistaken as an army worm, will reach abundant numbers next year, Deacon said it's a friendly fly.

"It lands on you, walks around, sticks out it's big tongue, licks you," he said.

But that friendship doesn't extend to other caterpillars.

"They lay their eggs in the caterpillars and it actually burrows into the caterpillars and eats the caterpillar from the inside out, so end of caterpillar," said Deacon.

The caterpillars arrival will mean that the trees will be bare.

"It's going to look like wintertime in July," Deacon said.

However, the healthy trees will survive.

"The deceased trees, the unhealthy trees may be killed because of the stress," added Deacon.

The forest tent caterpillar is named so because in it's early development stages, the eggs hatch and the larvae use the silk to create tents in the crooks of trees.

If residents really want to protect their trees, the best time to act is when they see one of those tents in their trees.

Soap and water is best to get rid of it, said Deacon, noting pesticides aren't necessary when the tree, if healthy, will easily survive the invasion.

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Tbnewswatch.com(16)

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Comments

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Whodo says:
You say soap and water? What exactly do we do with the soap and water?
Spray the tree? is this so the caterpillar can't climb?
7/5/2014 9:40:17 AM
moi says:
Just wondering Mr. Deacon, what is the ratio of "soap to water" that would kill the hungry little buggers? We all hate the tent caterpillars, I'm sure a good many of us remember the last invasion..
7/5/2014 9:52:19 AM
humnchuck says:
The pressure washer seemed to do well on them last time!
7/5/2014 1:57:10 PM
enos012 says:
If you really want to know let give you some advice! It called the internet!!! Try typing in water to soap spray ratio for insects on tress. Don't blame Mr. Deacon for what the 'news' failed to leave out.
7/5/2014 3:45:21 PM
unionbay880 says:
@moi, Why are you asking him a question on here? I agree, Google it.
7/7/2014 10:38:40 AM
nucksfan89 says:
Ugh. Hate these critters.
7/5/2014 1:58:31 PM
hadenough says:
Whodo, bugs breath through their "skin" called an exoskeleton. The soap plugs the pores and the bug dies. Same as the egg masses. You can pick these masses off in the fall, they look like grey rings around the twigs.

Mix it up more than you would to do a sink full of dishes but dont go crazy as too much soap will plug the breathind pores on the tree leaf, called stomata, and will kill the leaf and harm the tree.

7/5/2014 2:36:22 PM
moi says:
I used a pressure washer last go around with these little critters (a few years ago),but good to know that a strong mixture of soap and water will be as effective as a pesticide..
The pressure washer will come out and be used for whatever spots on my trees I can't reach with my garden hose hooked-up with one of those plastic containers from the Miracle Grow kit. Thanks hadenough, I just wasn't sure how much dish soap to use..lol, wonder if the buggers prefer lemon scented or lavender scented soap.
7/6/2014 11:39:31 AM
eventscentre says:
The same people who claim to love their pets and all animals will ruthlessly squash these poor things to death....
7/5/2014 2:56:53 PM
Tannoy says:
Yup! Because puppies are cute and these things are destructive. GET OVER IT
7/8/2014 10:29:15 AM
Robert Smithers says:
Somehow I just cant picture myself sitting on a tree branch with soap and water bathing caterpillars that apparently lick my hand.
7/5/2014 3:02:11 PM
Who-cares says:
You can also use double sided tape around the trunks of your trees. The caterpillars will get stuck on the tape
7/5/2014 11:26:53 PM
eventscentre says:
That's really cruel. They die a slow, agonizing death on double sided tape. That's like using glue traps on mice-the mice squeal and rip their legs from their own bodies as they struggle to escape. I suggest that all the barbarians among us allow the caterpillars to run their course and do what they have to do.
7/6/2014 2:28:22 PM
matteroffact says:
I'd like to know what dictionary defines "barbarian" as a killer of caterpillars? Do I need to go the hunting store to purchase the double sided tape I might choose to use as a barbaric trap for caterpillars? Hhmmm. Do I need a hunting license. Those poor caterpillars. What can we do to save them? Emergency caterpillar housing. Great!
7/7/2014 11:06:05 AM
HenryWo says:
So when you yard becomes infested by these things lets see if you still feel the same way.
7/7/2014 12:28:42 PM
countrydweller says:
Seriously!!! Give me a break "eventcentre". I think there is a heck of a difference between killing your pets or killing a caterpillar or a spider!!
7/7/2014 2:04:48 PM
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