Eastern Tent Caterpillar
Author(s) C. F. Koval, S. W. Binnie.
The eastern tent caterpillar is native to North America, and records of its existence go back as far as 1646. While severe infestations occur at approximately 10-year intervals, the caterpillars are found easily throughout Wisconsin every year. Wild cherry, choke cherry, apple, and ornamental crabapple are their favorite hosts. However, they also will attack hawthorn, mountain ash, box elder, elm, maple, birch, willow, poplar, and oak trees.
Eastern tent caterpillar is frequently confused with gypsy moth. The gypsy moth does not spin silk and is incapable of producing tents. Thus, it is readily distinguished from the eastern tent caterpillar. Use this fact sheet to identify the eastern tent caterpillar, understand its life cycle, and determine what you should do if it appears in your garden or landscape (2 pages; 1999).