Forest Insect and Disease Newsletter

Planning a trip to northern Minnesota?

image: Forest tent caterpillar caused defoliation 2011 map

Someone who is planning a summer trip to northern Minnesota is wondering if this will be a year with larger numbers of Forest Tent Caterpillar?

OR

Can you tell me if this might be a year in the cycle that might have larger numbers?

Since the state was shutdown in July we did not get a good aerial survey of FTC in 2011 and so it is a little harder for us to track and predict what is occurring. However both northern specialists spent some time looking for egg masses to help with some research work this fall. We were surprised that it was hard to find egg masses in a lot of locations where we expected to find them. We expected to see quite a shift to the north and an increase in populations, but it doesn't look like that occurred.

Map above shows where FTC was found last summer. I suspect next year will look similar.

The short answer is that if by northern Minnesota the person means north of State Highway 2, then we don't expect to see any large areas of forest tent caterpillar defoliation this summer.