Forest tent caterpillars damaging many Michigan trees

Jun 8, 2018

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Officials say forest tent caterpillars are damaging many trees across Michigan this spring. 

The state Natural Resources department says the critters are eating leaves from sugar maple, aspen and oak trees and leaving small strands of webbing.

The insects are native to Michigan and occur in widespread outbreaks every 10-15 years. They've been spotted across the Lower Peninsula and in the eastern Upper Peninsula.

Outbreaks usually last two or three years. This is the second or third year for outbreaks in some areas.

Scott Lint of the Forest Resources Division says an infestation of forest tent caterpillars rarely is fatal unless a tree has other stresses.

Homeowners with trees that have been heavily defoliated should make sure they get at least one inch of water weekly during the growing season.