2014 may see major outbreak of the ravenous pest: forest tent caterpillar

By KBJR News 1

January 11, 2014 Updated Jan 11, 2014 at 9:12 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - While we've been able to more or less avoid it for the past decade, 2014 and 2015 may be peak years for the insatiable deforester known as the forest tent caterpillar.

According to the latest DNR pest report, a cyclical invasion of the pest seems more probable than ever for northern Minnesota, possibly starting spring of this year.

The report showed that forest tent caterpillars quadrupled their defoliated forest coverage area in 2012 from a quarter million acres, to over 1 million acres in 2013.

This was similar to a spike in 1998 and 1999 that came just before a record outbreak in 2000.

However, DNR spokespeople say it's not clear whether the possible outbreak will be in 2014 or 2015, or just how big the outbreak may be.

Billy Wagness