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Old 07-23-2012, 09:42 AM   #1
Major Ramifications
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Default Anyone know about caterpillars?

I put up an inflatable ring pool every summer in the backyard in the only available area. There's a pecan tree next to it that gets infested with caterpillars every year at this same time. The problem is, they crap in the pool and the turds are dense and fall straight to the bottom and form a nasty muddy mess.
Every year, I spray the tree with Thuricide, but I can never get all the way to the top. I know that they make systemic poison that you just water into the ground around the tree and the tree drinks it up and it kills them that way. The problem is, lots of birds and squirrels eat the pecans (we don't) and they would get sick if I used a systemic poison.
This year, I fed the Thuricide into the pressure washer and was able to cover the entire tree. All the caterpillars died. I waited to set up the pool until I was sure they were gone.
Everything was fine with crystal clear water and no caterpillars until last week. I found a bunch of very young caterpillars munching the leaves and crapping in our pool. I sprayed with Thuricide and so far they are dying.

My questions to the experts are:
How do the caterpillars always manage to find my tree every year?
Why do they only seem to like this one tree? (we have another tree on the other side of the pool, and they don't bother it)
Is there a better way for me to deal with them? (Other than cutting down the tree, we need the shade)
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:58 AM   #2
rlitman
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Default Re: Anyone know about caterpillars?

Orthene is a systemic. You can spray a systemic on the leaves, and it will spread around the plant. This is better than applying it to the roots.

Another option is to put a layer of something sticky on a ring around the truck, to prevent the larvae from crawling down to the pupae phase. This breaks their lifecycle.
A product called tanglefoot is very good for this.
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:15 AM   #3
Major Ramifications
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Default Re: Anyone know about caterpillars?

Why do they need to crawl down to the ground? If that's all it takes is to get some Tanglefoot, that sounds great.

Does it matter that these are tenting caterpillars? they make those white spider web "tents".

So, when they keep coming back, is that because they lay eggs in the tree and they hatch or do they somehow migrate to my pecan tree. We have another tree (some crappy tree, don't know what kind) whose branches are somewhat intertwined with the pecan tree, but they only eat the pecan tree.
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