I have used your products in the past for treatment of carpenter bees, yellow jackets, and other insects. My most recent pest problem is with Tent Caterpillars. I read your article and was able to treat some of their nest with the chemicals you recommend, but for most of the nests, they are too high and out of reach for my sprayer and my ability to poke holes in the nest. This year, the problem was the worst I have ever seen. Fortunately, they are gone now, but the aftermath is quite an eyesore. Attached are a couple of pictures. Any suggestions on how to treat these to either prevent this problem, or get rid of them when they build their nests out of reach? I’ve included some pictures to help show just how bad it’s been. Thanks so much for your help.
Tent caterpillars are annoying and destroying pest. They seem to get worse from year to year when left untreated. Based on the photo’s you sent, I’d say you’ve had them for several years and should consider two or three of the treatment options we have listed in our TENT CATERPILLAR CONTROL article.
The key to preventing them from establishing these nests will be an early treatment before they are active. Eggs are laid on tree bark and leaves once the caterpillars molt to adults. Though you can kill the eggs with DORMANT OIL by spraying infested trees in the winter, it’s not likely this alone will solve the problem. Since so many eggs will end up on the ground, there will undoubtedly be a lot of hatching larvae in the spring which will immediately want to climb these trees again. If you get an early enough treatment on these trees, you should be able to stop these foraging larvae.
I suggest a good coating of INSECT GLUE be applied early in the spring. This will create a barrier over which they cannot climb. Since the glue will break down over time, it’s also suggest you spray as much of the bark with BIFEN early on too. This residual should help to minimize their ability to climb the tree as well. Bifen will last long but I suggest you start spraying the bark in February; no later than March to insure you have it protected for when the hatch and become active. Lastly, as soon as the trees start to sprout leaves, spray them all down with THURICIDE. This will in turn kill any that feed on the treated leaves.
Another suggestion which isn’t noted in the article is to treat the ground around the trees with some of our MERIT GRANULES. This treatment will last 3-6 months and if done in February, should be plenty active to help get those emerging larvae so again, there won’t be as many gaining access to the trees.
In summary, there usually isn’t one thing that works 100% but a combination of the above listed treatments will certainly do a great job. Good luck!