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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2013
    Location
    Ocala, FL
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    7

    Unhappy *** Breeders Beware ***

    I've lost two foals this season to Eastern Tent Caterpillars and the Tussock Moth Caterpillar - MRLS - Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome.
    I'll be working with the University of Florida and the Marion County Extension Office to figure out the best treatment to combat these destructive caterpillars.
    Here are some informative links: http://thomastobin.com/mrlstox.htm
    http://www2.ca.uky.edu/environment-f...terpillars.pdf
    http://cflag.ifas.ufl.edu/documents/...t/Kaufman2.pdf

    If you've had to combat these devils on your farm, or a farm you worked on, please tell me how you got the upper hand. I cannot bare to lose another foal.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,095

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    Very sorry for your losses. Thank you so much for posting the link to the articles.
    Richard, Approved Black KWPN Stallion
    Website
    and Facebook page
    Oh Kaptain Underpants SFS, Approved BRp pony stallion
    Website and Facebook page


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2003
    Location
    Best of golf and equines, NC
    Posts
    5,369

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    ditto what the poster above said... I am so sorry for your losses... and THANK YOU for the articles... I'm going to go out and shoot every butterfly I see, and then burn every tree, bush and shrub on my property, just in case they might be laying eggs / harboring a frickin caterpillar.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2008
    Posts
    595

    Default

    Thank you for the articles and very sorry for your losses also.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2008
    Posts
    595

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cartier View Post
    ditto what the poster above said... I am so sorry for your losses... and THANK YOU for the articles... I'm going to go out and shoot every butterfly I see, and then burn every tree, bush and shrub on my property, just in case they might be laying eggs / harboring a frickin caterpillar.
    Cartier, I haven't read all the articles yet but are you serious about all kinds of butterflies? In all parts of the country? Just ordered some fragrant non toxic bushes for landscaping that attract butterflies and now I'm worried!


    3 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2004
    Location
    Virginia. We Do Ponies!
    Posts
    11,804

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    I posted the alert from www.thehorse.com over a month ago. http://www.thehorse.com/articles/287...lier-this-year

    This is not news to us in the east, unfortunately. The best bet is to BURN the nests out of any trees you see them in immediately.

    *Butterfly bushes attract butterflys, not the Eastern Tent Caterpillars.
    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse


    6 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2004
    Location
    Virginia. We Do Ponies!
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    From the article:
    Controlling Eastern tent caterpillars is vital to area horse farms, as UK research has proven the caterpillars caused outbreaks of mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS), which can cause late-term foal losses, early- and late-term fetal losses, and weak foals. During the 2001-02 MRLS outbreak, about 30% of that year’s Thoroughbred foal crop was lost.
    The state suffered an economic loss of $336 million in all breeds of horses.
    Townsend said horse farms should check wild cherry and related trees for Eastern tent caterpillar activity to determine whether management is necessary. If control measures are needed to reduce numbers, steps should be taken before the caterpillars leave their trees.
    “The small caterpillars will stay near the egg mass for a short time before moving to feed on expanding leaves,” Townsend said.
    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2003
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    634

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    Thank you for the heads up and how awful for your losses!
    Growing up, there were tent caterpillars everywhere, but now thankfully I hardly ever see them in my area.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9

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    VirginiaBred is correct the best and cheapest way to kill tent caterpillars (=Lasiocampid moths) is to burn them out of the tree. However if you are uncomfortable with fire, you can also use your fly spray if it contains pyrethroids, not the natural the sprays. Saturate the bag, not such that it is dripping, but so the caterpillars crawling in the bag will contact the poison. AS you spray the bag, you will see the caterpillars reacting (dying) by dropping from point of contact. You may need to apply a second or third dose if the bag is excessively large and the caterpillars are big (gone through 3-4 molts). Obviously the best time to treat is when you first notice the bag and tiny caterpillars. If you see caterpillars on trees other than Cherrys and Plums, it's not tent caterpillars. Also, the caterpillars stay in the "bag" for a period of time, so check your cherry and plum trees today, and be vigilant throughout Spring.


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2004
    Location
    Ontario
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    7,621

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    So sorry for your loss.
    I remember the awful 2001 year. I have hated tent caterpillars and even though we do not have a farm/breed, we destroy them. I remember spending ours at our cottage removing the nests of moths too!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2008
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    595

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    Quote Originally Posted by VirginiaBred View Post

    *Butterfly bushes attract butterflys, not the Eastern Tent Caterpillars.
    Thanks VirginiaBred!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2000
    Location
    Southern Pines, N.C.
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    11,421

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    We lost a much anticipated foal in 2001 from MRLS. Starting in the fall (I believe that leaves? of wild chery trees are poisonous to horses. Since it is hard to pick up every leaf, Ky farm owners did the spot by spot killing in the spring).

    Then, in the fall, there was a wholesale cutting and burning of the wild cherry trees throughout the Bluegrass. Thousands of tress where cut down -- At the time it was a horrible massacre of lovely trees, but Ky has not had a reappearanc of MRLS since.
    "I used to have money, now I have horses."


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2003
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    Best of golf and equines, NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by password View Post
    Cartier, I haven't read all the articles yet but are you serious about all kinds of butterflies? In all parts of the country? Just ordered some fragrant non toxic bushes for landscaping that attract butterflies and now I'm worried!

    I was joking about shooting butterflies… we don't own a gun, and given how they flit around, I’d probably end up shooting myself in the foot. That said, I shudder when I see ads for Asclepias tuberosa, Buddleia davidii or other varieties of planting material that are known for attracting butterflies. Butterflies are the intermediate host for caterpillars… i.e., they are the mature caterpillar about to lay eggs. I don't care what the moth or caterpillar looks like, I don't want 'em. So, I have no desire to encourage any kinds of caterpillars… most especially not tent caterpillars or any of the numerous caterpillars that have that spiky body hair that would be harmful to a foal. I once thought that I could recognize the butterfly that is the mature tent caterpillar, but I’m not certain anymore, so I don’t want any of them. I know that’s not a very Walt Disney thing to say… but there you have it. When it comes to planting material intended to attract other creatures, this is my rule of thumb: Honey Bees and Hummingbirds: yes, Butterflies: no.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2008
    Posts
    595

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    Cartier, you make a very good point. Do you know anything about fragrant tea olive trees?



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2013
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    7

    Default Favored Trees

    I did read that it was predominantly Wild Cherry Trees that the caterpillar was attracted to, but I also found this:

    "The eastern tent caterpillar normally favors black cherry, choke cherry, scrub apple trees and many species of ornamentals in the family Rosaceae. When numerous, the insect defoliates many other fruit trees as well as deciduous forest and shade trees including birch, oak, willow, poplar, and beech." http://www.esf.edu/pubprog/tentcaterpillars/

    They were literally falling off my huge oak trees around the farm.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,189

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    Just as a heads up, the Eastern Tent doesn't limit itself to the East. It's here in Colorado, as is the Western Tent and Forest Tent, so don't think you're safe just because you live west of OH!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2006
    Posts
    9,912

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cartier View Post
    I was joking about shooting butterflies… we don't own a gun, and given how they flit around, I’d probably end up shooting myself in the foot. That said, I shudder when I see ads for Asclepias tuberosa, Buddleia davidii or other varieties of planting material that are known for attracting butterflies. Butterflies are the intermediate host for caterpillars… i.e., they are the mature caterpillar about to lay eggs. I don't care what the moth or caterpillar looks like, I don't want 'em. So, I have no desire to encourage any kinds of caterpillars… most especially not tent caterpillars or any of the numerous caterpillars that have that spiky body hair that would be harmful to a foal. I once thought that I could recognize the butterfly that is the mature tent caterpillar, but I’m not certain anymore, so I don’t want any of them. I know that’s not a very Walt Disney thing to say… but there you have it. When it comes to planting material intended to attract other creatures, this is my rule of thumb: Honey Bees and Hummingbirds: yes, Butterflies: no.
    Ignorance is an amazing thing to behold.

    Really your best bet is to cut down cherry trees overhanging pastures. Wild cherries are very common.

    OP, I am very sorry for your losses.


    (Sorry to come across as harsh but I find posts like the above to be disheartening.)
    Last edited by grayarabpony; Apr. 7, 2013 at 08:22 PM.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    35,496

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    [QUOTE=VirginiaBred;6927850]horse farms should check wild cherry and related trees for Eastern tent caterpillar activity[/QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by Derid View Post
    If you see caterpillars on trees other than Cherrys and Plums, it's not tent caterpillars. .
    ^^^^

    This is absolutely not remotely about killing "all butterflies" - that is horrible and destructive to a lot of food, predator, and prey chains.

    Just eliminate the trees in which the ETC likes to set up camp, and you're done.

    Butterfiles are critical for pollination at many levels. They also provide food, either as butterfiles or as larva, for other critters who help keep far worse pests at bay.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


    2 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2005
    Posts
    2,805

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    Tent caterpillars are nasty. They decimated our crop 9 years ago. (West coast.)
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 7, 2013
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    7

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    Remember that it isn't just the Eastern Tent Caterpillar that are causing MRLS - it's caterpillar's from that family. If you have Tussock Moth Caterpillar's, Western Tent, Forest Tent, they are also dangerous to the unborn fetus. And it's not just Cherry Trees - it's shade trees too.

    I have two types of caterpillar on my farm and hundreds of trees.
    Last edited by DeirdreT; Apr. 8, 2013 at 08:53 AM. Reason: adding to post



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