Camping with Tent Caterpillars - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:16 PM   #1
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Name: Gilda
Trailer: 2011 Scamp 13'
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Camping with Tent Caterpillars

Hi Everyone!
We will be going to the National Parks in Utah; Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands and Capital Reef soon. The NPS website mentions that tent caterpillars can be very active and prolific in April and May. While I'm not usually squeamish about insects or other "critters" the photos of these squirming masses do give me pause. I am very happy that we have the self-contained trailer so, should we need to, we can opt to cook, eat and relax indoors.

Please let us know your experience with camping with tent caterpillars. Is there any way to dissuade them from setting up camp on your picnic table or camp chairs?
Happy Camping
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:49 PM   #2
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Short of pesticides I don't know how to get rid of them. I do know that when there is an infestation like that, you can actually hear them eating leaves! We had a tent caterpillar invasion back in the 80s and the highways were greasy from caterpillar corpses
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:14 AM   #3
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:18 AM   #4
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I remember about 6 years ago here in the Adirondack's , they were very thick. Sometimes it sounded like rain hitting the tent, but they really didn't bother us from doing anything. I know they released some kind of fly that only lived a short period of time that ate the caterpillars/larva . All part of being in the great outdoors.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:43 AM   #5
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Hi: Gilda... I never liked camping intense!!! At least those critters bring their own!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:04 AM   #6
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I went to the edible insect web site and that particular caterpillar was not listed so there goes that option.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:03 AM   #7
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We had them in our cherry tree. We cut the branch off and burned it.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:51 PM   #8
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Since I wrote my initial post we have visited Zion, Bryce, Capital Reef, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks (and had a great time, I might add). The tent caterpillars were only evident at Zion. Fortunately, they were minimal and stayed "where they belong" in their tents, in the trees. Oh, there were a few that crawled into our wheel well and onto our hanging laundry, but nothing really bothersome.

When we returned, I told my 91 year young mother about the tent caterpillars and she promptly shared this story. When growing up in New Jersey her brother, Ben, got an award for collecting the most tent caterpillars at school! Perhaps that's what we need, a caterpillar collecting contest at the campground!
The Gleeful Glamper
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by J Mac View Post
We had them in our cherry tree. We cut the branch off and burned it.
They're a problem in Oregon too. Fire takes care of them quickly... just make sure to cut the branch off the tree first
Donna D.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:29 PM   #10
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This time of year the trout in our pond can sometimes be seen under the alders down there, picking off any tentcats that are unfortunate enough to fall out of the trees.

My Husband Mr. Sportsman always gives the branches a big ol' shake when he goes down there to fish....nothin like chummin' to bring the fish to the hook!

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