Tree-cycling

Tent caterpillars have suspended this can in their chosen target tree within their nest. Thanks for cleaning up caterpillars!

This photo did lead to a little research on what these critters are and here are the interesting bits:

– These caterpillars were laid as eggs by their mother moth last fall! They survive the winter in their eggs, up to -40C.

– Since they eat leaves, most of what they eat is indigestible so they excrete aka. poop, out 1/2 of what they eat.  In an area where there is an outbreak, this poop falls from trees like rain! ew.

– While they are seen as pests and people believe they “kill” trees.  They do not. They “defoliate” the tree (ie. eat all the leaves), however the tree lives on and re-foliates.  Only if the same tree is defoliated many times in a row and it is facing another threat ie. drought, does it risk death.

– If, for one reason or another, you don’t want them around, place a bucket of water 1/4 full at the bottom of the tree.  The caterpillars will be attracted to the bucket and will drown.

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