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May 7, 2004

Barrier Treatment for Dispersing Tent Caterpillars

Dan Potter, Professor
Department of Entomology
University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Large tent caterpillars are leaving infested trees in search of pupation sites. This may result in the need for an insecticide application to protect pregnant mares.

Field tests conducted by UK entomologists as part of a Grayson-Jockey Club-funded research project indicate that dry residues of a 0.5% tank mix of Astro insecticide will quickly kill large tent caterpillars crawling over or through treated pasture grass. This is a rate of 1.6 fl. oz. of product per gallon of water. Six-foot wide barriers have been used in field tests but narrower bands may be adequate.

"Perimeter Treatment" as described on the label includes "lawn areas adjacent or around private homes, duplexes, ....garages, fence lines, storage sheds, barns, soil, trunks of woody ornamentals and other areas where pests congregate or have been seen".

Farms needing to stop tent caterpillars from crawling into pastures from adjacent untreated areas may want to consider this tactic. Alternatively, Astro can be applied to lower tree trunks or to the ground around the base of trees. Applications should be made outside of the perimeter so that the caterpillars will be killed before entering the pasture.


Lee Townsend, Extension Entomologist
Department of Entomology
Room S-225 Ag Science- North
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40546-0091
(859) 257-7455 FAX (859) 323-1120
Pesticide Applicator Training

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