Any arborists pottering about?

ejb190

macrumors 65816
Arborist? Sort of. Entomologist? I get paid to pretend to be one!

Looks like a pupal case of some kind.
The first question to ask is where is this? The location will help cut down on a lot of riffraff in the google search.
Also, what kind of tree is this on? That's another key to narrowing it down.

Adult insects tend to be easy compared to identifying eggs, larva, or pupa. You might need to rear it out and see what comes of it.
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,669
10,809
My laymen's guess is it's a caterpillar nest, which doesn't look like that, but humid evenings and morning dew tend to compact the layers they built and make it more sheath like. I would remove it with gloves and spray the tree with an insecticide and anti-fungal treatment.
 

ejb190

macrumors 65816
My laymen's guess is it's a caterpillar nest, which doesn't look like that, but humid evenings and morning dew tend to compact the layers they built and make it more sheath like. I would remove it with gloves and spray the tree with an insecticide and anti-fungal treatment.
I have to totally disagree with the suggestion of spraying anything.

With so much talk of saving pollinators and reducing pesticide use these days, we need to think different about how we relate to insects and pesticide use. First off, we don't even know what this is. Is it a butterfly? I can tell you for sure this is not a fungus, so using a fungicide is wasteful. Is it even a risk to the tree? If it is harmful, how do we select the best insecticide if we still don't know what it is? Finally, if you are dead set on destroying it, why not do it in the simplest way possible - scrape it off in a bucket of soapy water! There's no need to pull out the "big guns" for this.

There are studies that have shown that homeowners use 2-3 times more pesticides per acre than farmers do. Homeowners often want to "take action" rather than learn about and understand their surroundings. Very often the correct approach to an insect issue is "do nothing". Even when action needs to be taken, often pests can be more permanently and effectively handled by cultural controls than with repeated applications of chemicals. But in every case, the first step is to understand the problem, which no one wants to take the time to do.

I'm sorry if I sound like I'm going overboard and especially apologize if I sound like I'm attacking you, Zenithal. But I really feel there's a teachable moment here. [/soapbox]

My credentials: A BS and MS in Horticulture Science, 6 years as a County Ag Extension Educator, 14 years as a Regulatory Entomologist, Field Inspector, and Invasive Species Technician, and 20+ years as a licensed Private and Commercial Pesticide Applicator.
 

Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,669
10,809
My credentials: A BS and MS in Horticulture Science, 6 years as a County Ag Extension Educator, 14 years as a Regulatory Entomologist, Field Inspector, and Invasive Species Technician, and 20+ years as a licensed Private and Commercial Pesticide Applicator.
For someone who's spent so many years in the field, you should be incredibly well versed in simple, non-harmful methods of making a homemade anti-fungal or pesticide without resorting to caustic chemicals. Substances like neem oil or very diluted washing up liquid can repel bugs and insects fairly well without resorting to "big guns" or whatever imaginative weapon your mind can think of.


I'm sorry if I sound like I'm going overboard and especially apologize if I sound like I'm attacking you, Zenithal. But I really feel there's a teachable moment here. [/soapbox]
No, I didn't see it as an attack. A useless, over-zealous and much misinformed post that jumped to conclusions and worst case scenarios, sure.
 
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Zenithal

macrumors G3
Sep 10, 2009
9,669
10,809
My credentials: A BS and MS in Horticulture Science, 6 years as a County Ag Extension Educator, 14 years as a Regulatory Entomologist, Field Inspector, and Invasive Species Technician, and 20+ years as a licensed Private and Commercial Pesticide Applicator.
No need to clarify. I'd pulled up your credentials years ago. The botany hobby community is small, and fortunately or unfortunately depending on the person, your initials come up here and there.
 
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