Tent caterpillars are sociable and community-spirited. The work cooperatively to gather food:
Studies have shown that eastern tent caterpillars recruit their tent mates to go on food finds. Caterpillars move from the tent in search of food, laying down an exploratory pheromone trail as they pass over the branches of the host tree. These chemical exploratory trails allow caterpillars to find their way back to the tent. If a caterpillar finds food and feeds to repletion, it returns to the tent, laying down a recruitment trail that serves to recruit hungry tent mates to its food find.These caterpillars present no serious risk to the tree. They should be welcomed as exemplary Rosslyn residents.
Occupy Wall Tree
I must take issue with the Ode Street Tribune's statement that "These caterpillars present no serious risk to the tree". A recent report by Washington State University stated: "Early in their development, tent caterpillars tend to eat all of the leaves on one branch before moving on to the next. Later they split into smaller groups and attack several branches. A single tent may result in 20% defoliation of a small tree.
Trees infested with several tents are often totally defoliated. A single occurrence rarely kills a tree, but it does reduce growth and makes the tree more susceptible to other hazards such as drought, freezing, or disease." It seems that a retraction of your statement about tent caterpillars is warranted.
It is surprising that you have not retract the erroneous information in your article about caterpillars. In the past your legions of readers have been able to absolutely rely on any and all information in The Ode Street Tribune. Unfortunately it appears from your unwillingness to retract completely erroneous information, that you are no longer interested in maintaining the reputation that you have built up. This is unfortunate.
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