Tent caterpillars are invading trees and bushes around Vermont this spring. The mix of a warm spring and cold winter has spurred a rise in population of the two leaf-eating pests. The forest tent and eastern tent caterpillars are native to the state.
State officials say they are seeing a lot of caterpillars in Rutland County and in Bennington, Windsor and Washington counties. Eastern tent caterpillars are about two inches long with black and white stripes on their backs. They spin silky tents in cherry, apple and flowering crab trees.
Forest tent caterpillars are greenish-blue, with spots on their backs. They eat the leaves of sugar maple, oak and cherry trees. Infested trees usually put out new leaves by mid-July.