Jun 10-01

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2001: June: Jun 10-01
Invasion of the Tent Caterpillars    ...scroll down to share comments
photo by Dan Urbanski

Charlie at Pasty Central on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 01:57 pm:

These fuzzy guys are in the woods, on the streets, on houses and shrubs... EVERYWHERE in the region. Not long before we have a followup invasion by a bunch of moths. Funny how that works.

I'd be curious to know if other areas of the country are having a similar attack by these tent caterpillars (also known as tent worms). Thanks to Dan Urbanski for this micro-report from the North woods.

By RCW Bootjack on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 02:09 pm:

Just chatting with a friend who came in from the Wisconsin area, and he said its 10 time worse down there in certain areas!!!!!

By chris, wis. on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 02:20 pm:

i live in green bay wi and i have not seen or heard of any of these furry caterpillars here but in tamarack city ,michigan there are a bunch according to my mother

By Kathy, Michigan on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 02:24 pm:

My mom in Houghton said it is awful...they shoudl be gone in a fews weeks. They better be before I get up there for July 4th!!
Those worms are awful. The shouldn't have them for another 7 years now....

By Roger & Carolyn, MT/MI on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 03:16 pm:


Curiously enough, we have what amounts to an invasion of these critters as well, here in Paradise Valley, MT (Just north of Yellowstone Park).

And here my wife and I thought our new home in White Pine would be detached from Montana's problems............

By Jean Mi. on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 03:17 pm:

Here is a link that will help I.D. these creepy crawley critters. http://www.kbs.msu.edu/Extension/Gypsy/PAGE40.HTM

By Alice, California on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 03:38 pm:

Eeeyooo is just what I said before the words even came up with the first picture!

By David S. on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 06:14 pm:

I think the same thing happened a few years ago on one of the X-Files episodes. Similiar insects took over an entire town which was already occupied by aliens. Mulder knew the truth but nobody believed him.

By k on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 06:38 pm:

One day a bud and i were paying attention to something else while walking through the old cemetary in larium and we almost walked through strings of tent worms! It was horrible!

By DMac $Bay MI on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 06:52 pm:

These worms are bad. Nasty. The tents are just gross too. In the beginning, they are white, and once the worms start to mature, the tents will turn black prior to "popping" open! These things are everywhere. The roads are crawling, houses are crawling, and they like roses and peppers too.
Thanks for the pic Dan and Charley~!

By Bob Gestel, Missouri on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 10:08 pm:

I am a former Dollar Bay resident, now living in Arnold, Mo. We have had minor invasions of these critters in the past, but I only saw one tent this year which I got on right away and have not seen any more.

Bob of Arnold

By Bonnie Foss, WI on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 10:52 pm:

We have Tent Caterpillars in Central Wisconsin. I have never seen any (except on Pasty.com). We have had planes flying very early in the morning spraying the cocoons (proper term for them?). I certainly hope we don't see the actual caterpillars! They sound awful!

By margie in kentucky on Sunday, June 10, 2001 - 11:41 pm:

We've sure got them but my personal least favorite seasonal critter down here is the wood beetle. It is like a giant cockroach that flies.

By Lisa on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 07:19 am:

I remember 10-15 years ago camping in the upper lower Michigan. Those little things were falling out of the trees right into our food, coffee, shoes, everywhere! Disgusting. Not a happy camping trip!

By Joe Meagher on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 09:53 am:

I live in Neenah WI, about 30 miles south of Green Bay and we are having no problems with these little critters. However, about 10 miles north of here in Appleton there is a large infestation. In an attempt to combat the problem, the city officials have hired crop dusters to spray the trees in several of the city parks. I have not heard how much this has helped.

By PELKIE PETE on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 10:01 am:

Here in the Copper Country we make the best of a messy situation and allow our culinary creativity to commence. Its amazing how these little critters are complimented by some Velveeta cheese, cream of mushroom soup, noodles and of course fried onions rings to top off our casserole. Cook in a 350 degree oven long enough for the critters to stop their wigglin'. Although this recipe is inventive I'll stick with good ol' pasty with ketchup.

By M in Jacobsville on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 10:12 am:

I was weeding strawberries and they were crawling all over me!!! Does anyone know if they will harm the berries?

By Raymond R. in MT on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 11:48 am:

PELKIE PETE - Stop! Yer makin' me hungry. Are you the guy who use to cook at the Kaleva in Hancock?

By K. Denomme, Duluth/Hancock on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 01:55 pm:

YUCK! We've got 'em here in Duluth a little (getting worse by the day), but they're much worse on "The Range" just a little northwest of here. It makes for a great conversation piece, though. A classmate and I like to share army-worm-killing stories before class. Her favorite method is to scoop 'em into a paper towel and set 'em on fire. Sounds cathartic!

By Sarah, Central WI on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 04:08 pm:

I live in Wausau, WI (central) and they have been spraying for these awful things for the past 3 years or so. We didn't have any in our yard but some of my family has had some...lots of damage to their trees. They say to put duct tape on the trees, backwards, and vaseline on the tree too. If the duct tape doesn't catch them, the vaseline will. Also you can spray the caterpillars with a soap/water mixture. Good luck to everyone!!! :)

By Paul Roberts Hancock, MI on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 06:40 pm:

This past weekend I was on Mackinaw Island and they had taken over the Island...well at least the airport. But if you're gonna take pover an Island an airport is a good place to start.

By Alice, California on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 07:52 pm:

Pelkie Pete- You are SICK!! Yuck. And I hope he wasn't the cook at the Kaleva. My mom and dad used to take us there.
Then there is K. Denomme from Duluth who reminded me that when I used to grow tomatoes, I used to pay the kids 5 cents a tomato worm to clean them off the plants (oh, that was in the old days when a nickel could buy something). Then I discovered the reason they collected so many was that they were putting them in the street and watching for cars to run over them. Again Yuck!

By Bernie Gestel, Minnesota on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 08:09 pm:

Here across the "Big Pond" in Grand Marais, Minnesota we have our share of the caterpillers also. The Aspen trees on the hillside behind the town are mostly denuded and the leaveis have only been out about six weeks. What we need is a Pied Piper to lead them all into Lake Superior; but no, that would pollute the lake wouldn't it. Well the word is they will run their cycle in about two weeks, so hang in there.

By Lee on Monday, June 11, 2001 - 10:34 pm:

Hey Pelkie Pete! Your gourmet recipe had us laughing! You know, the Donner Party would have relished your culinary talent.

By Carol - Hartland & Ontonagon, MI on Thursday, June 14, 2001 - 03:20 pm:

I just returned from a great week in Ontonagon. We had worms (and mosquitos) everywhere. Many trees are stripped of their leaves. To walk through wooded areas meant running into the "silk" hanging down from trees, reminiscent of that fake stuff they put in haunted houses to scare people! Any time we entered the house, we'd do a "worm check" on each other to be sure they didn't come inside with us. (Swearing that the little guys must fly rather than crawl.) BUT. . .it was still wonderful: the weather was great, the air was fresh, and the smell of hot, dry pine needles on a warm summer day is without equal.

We kayaked on Lake Superior on Friday (6/8), and the lake was so calm we could see clouds reflected in the surface of the water. Would have been quite unbelievable if I hadn't seen it myself. And it was one time the camera didn't come along. Where was Dan Urbanski when we needed him?!

All this to say that you just have to brave the elements sometimes to enjoy the wildflowers
and nature in the U.P., worms or no worms!

By Sue, Duluth MN on Friday, June 15, 2001 - 03:57 pm:

Plenty of them in Duluth this week! But the good news is I saw a seagull eat one. Finally, a seagull does some good in the world.

By Robin, MI on Tuesday, June 19, 2001 - 07:13 pm:

When you step on'em they make poping sounds like a small firecracker.

By Jason P. on Tuesday, June 19, 2001 - 09:03 pm:

I live in Hancock, and it's just as everyone says. GROSS! We drive down my road and all you hear is POP-POP-POP-POP. GROSS! And not to mention they're all over the house, stripping the trees and rose bushes.. :-(

What I wanted to add is that I'm down state right now in the Alma (near Mt. Pleasant) area, and there aren't any of those nasty worms down here. Mosquitos are the problem down here! I can barely get to the car without loosing a pint of blood! And since we have 3 dogs down here, we open and close the house doors far too often, letting many a mosquito in. I look like I have chicken pox because of the blood suckers! Now I know we have blackflies up north, but 30+ mosquito bites just tops the 2 black fly bites I had before coming south.

By Molli, TN on Thursday, June 21, 2001 - 12:12 pm:

This will be my first time in the U. P. I am looking forward to experiencing the beauty, however not real sure about the worm issue. . .

By P.E. ..Ontario Canada on Tuesday, August 14, 2001 - 02:06 pm:

I'm from Ontario Canada and we have them every year. If we get them at home, we usually burn the affected area of the tree just enough to kill the worms and tents but I don't think we have ever had them as badly as you guys in the
states are reporting.

By Marleen, White Lake, Mi. on Saturday, August 18, 2001 - 02:09 pm:

Tent worms, Yuck, They are everywhere, I can look out my window above tree level and every tree as far as I can see is covered with bags of worms. The choke cherry and fruit trees seem to be the tree that have the most problems, though they are nesting on other types of trees, will this just go on until all the trees are striped or is this a tent worm cycle?

By Nina on Monday, August 20, 2001 - 02:49 pm:

We live in Northern Indiana and let me tell ya.
Those dang tent worms have invaded us. They are ever where you look espeacially in the late afternoon. They crawl on your house, the kids swing set and toys that are outside. The worst part is they get around our door and fall on you when you are either coming or going. It scares the heck out of you and i can't stand it. Is there anything we can do to deter these little demons.

By Steve, Battle Creek, MI on Wednesday, September 5, 2001 - 02:55 pm:

Here in Battle Creek, MI the tent worms are bad this year. I have seen more tents in the past three weeks than I saw all summer. They are everywhere. A few years ago, I went to Glen Lake to a bicycle century ride. The tent worms had defoliated the entire area. It was the middle of June and it looked like it was January. The front of our camper was covered with mush from the worms on the road. There were so many covering the road, you would literally slide the tires if you stopped too fast! Every inch of ground was covered and buildings were black with them four feet up from the ground. It was awful; I had never seen anything like it.

By S. Hill on Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 06:42 pm:

Auburn, IN
Not sure it is the tent worm but something is working on all our little white pines. Not what we call "Web Worms". We see them on the tree and they are very sticky and all the needles seem to be turning yellow. We have protected these saplings from deer for three years by fencing them, and I would hate to lose them to a little worm!
Also, if anyone is interested, we have been invaded by ladybugs! I think they are the pale orange ones and today (10/2) they are as thick as rain! We thought we had lots of them last year but if today was any indication they will be much worse this year. Is any one besides us concerned about this? They also bite!!

By Mary-MN on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 01:13 pm:

North of Grand Rapids, MN
Worms here are thick and nasty. They seem to enjoy hitching a ride on your head or down your shirt. We live in a log house, every joint is PACKED with cocoons. Our trees are stripped, the garden is a mess...all leafy plants, like cabbage...have worms holed up in them. My dogs found a tree where hundreds of worms died and fell to the ground creating the worst smell on earth...then at least two hundred more came to their funerals. The dogs did love rolling in this sweet perfume. BATH TIME. We don't use chemicals on our garden or yard, and were wondering if anyone had a chemical free fix to get rid of these creatures.

By Confused Mom, Maine on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 05:32 pm:

HELP! all throughout my outside lawn i have little small yellow worm/caterpillars that hang from what seems to be silk. They spread this silk everywhere, and make tiny cacoons, it gets all over my laundry when I hang it outside! I dont know what they are, and I have researched everywhere...If you know what they are and how to get rid of them, please help me?!!!

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