FTC: Behind schedule
Just like everything else, forest tent caterpillar development is more than two weeks behind schedule for the year. On June 12th last year, FTC were beginning to spin up their cocoons; this year, they are in their third and fourth instars. Caterpillars are mostly 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch long. But then again, most of the other biological events that depend on the accumulation of warm temperatures are also behind schedule, especially plant phenology.
Most people haven't noticed much defoliation, yet other areas are literally crawling with caterpillars. Notable populations occur near Bemidji, Baudette, Northome, Crosby, Cross Lake (the town), Mille Lacs Lake (the lake), Grand Rapids, south of the Range, Duluth and Two Harbors, to name a few. Aerial survey will be flown this in June and July and we expect much less impact than last year when 7.75 million acres were defoliated.