Should I be concerned about the tent caterpillars in my evergreen trees?

Asked March 1, 2015, 2:53 PM EST

My fir and spruce trees are full of tent caterpillars this year. How serious can this become, and what steps should I take? The trees are about 20 to 30 feet high.

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

Probably more like silver spotted tiger moth. Tent caterpillars go after the hardwoods later in the year....usually in the fall, but they've been known to attack in the June time frame. The tiger moths webbing sort of looks like the tent guys. They actually like spruce a little better than the fir, but they'll be around for a while, then will be gone. They are defoliators, but in all the years I've been in the woods, they've never killed a tree. The safest way to eradicate them is insecticide soap (same stuff for aphids) or you could use any pesticide, but again, they look worse than the damage done to a tree.