Another low year for forest tent caterpillar

Paul Cigan, forest health specialist, Hayward, Paul.Cigan@wisconsin.gov, 715-416-4920 and Linda Williams, forest health specialist, Woodruff, Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov, 920-360-0665

Newly hatched forest tent caterpillars on egg mass.

Forest tent caterpillar larvae emerging from egg mass.

Forest tent caterpillar egg surveys conducted in northern counties indicate hardwood defoliation from this native insect will remain low in 2019, sustaining a 16-year trend. The last FTC outbreak affected northern Wisconsin from 1999 – 2002. Cooler and wetter than average spring weather may indirectly reduce caterpillar populations by enhancing the activity of pathogenic fungi. Please report any possible defoliation to your regional forest health specialist.

To learn more about this insect, visit the DNR forest tent caterpillar webpage.

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