Insect cocoon in treetop

Asked April 25, 2016, 2:25 PM EDT

How can we get rid of it. It is too high to reach. Will it damage the tree. Spread to other trees?

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

We suspect you are referring to Eastern tent caterpillars. There are a native insect that appear every year. They are harmless to people, do no significant damage to trees, and disappear in a month or so. Not a problem. Some years there are more than others.

Read more about them and their control in our website article: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/eastern-tent-caterpillar-trees
Of course, the ones in the photos are very mature. At first, they are tiny and not very noticeable. They evolved along with our native trees, so they all grow well together. The caterpillars provide much-needed food for many birds.
You don't have to do anything about them.
ECN