Caterpillars and Creepy Crawlies: Readers Respond

Nearly 450 readers of responded to a poll asking, "Do you do anything to keep pregnant mares away from caterpillars on your farm?"


results of poll on ticks

Results were as follows: 

  • No: 65.77%  (294)
  • Yes: 23.49%  (105)
  • Why should I care?: 10.74%  (48)

Readers shared what they do to protect their mares in the comments below.

Results of weekly polls from are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter. Published every week, this e-newsletter offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters using the form above or on our e-newsletter page.  

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  • No mares here!
  • all the caterpillars they want
  • I do not have trees with caterpillars anywhere that my horses can get to in the pasture fields.
  • Don't have caterpillars to keep her away from in the first place.
  • I dont mind I never knew that it was important to notice!
  • And you'd better not take any chances!
  • the place i board/work is not a breeding facility
  • When my mare was in foal, we removed trees the caterpillar nests were attracted to.
  • live in SE B.C. and don't seem to have a problem with them
  • I live in the desert.
  • I'm not having any new foals with the market and prices of fuel, feed, etc.
  • We don't have caterpillars here in our part of AZ
  • I don't breed my mares!!
  • My pregnant mares graze in a field with no trees.
  • We dont have many trees
  • we don't have any
  • don't have mares
  • It's just not a problem here, but if it were I would take action.
  • eliminate cherry trees and remove nests
  • We do not have many trees on our farm, none by pastures
  • i burn any and all caterpillar tents and destroy all of the ones we find on trees and ground
  • maintain a dry lot, muzzle if in pasture to prevent grazing, feed hay from reputable dealers
  • i'm not a breeder and have no mares
  • Don't have them here
  • We don't have caterpillars in Southern California
  • I d/n breed.
  • No caterpillars in our area (desert)
  • tent catapillers not in CA
  • cut any cherry trees down around pastures
  • Never heard of them, I don't breed my mares. It's my part in the prevention of unwanted horses
  • Everyone on the farm is charged with finding tent caterpillars early. When found, we deal with them.
  • These don't reside in Alaska
  • we don't have caterpillars in their pastures
  • I don't have problems with caterpillars.
  • I don't breed my mare
  • No mares on our property
  • dont have mares. never will
  • no bred mares
  • don't have any pregnant mares
  • my chickens won't even eat them. they don't even try to peck at them
  • no caterpillars in this drought stricken west
  • We do not breed -- there are enough horses already.
  • I understand they are problematic but not frequently seen in my area.
  • do not have pregnant mares
  • We have no caterpillar problems where I live in CA.
  • No pregnant mares on my farm!
  • No pregnant mares and live on West Coast
  • although I don't have any mares on my property I do have these pests removed
  • Have no problems with caterpillars
  • We have removed all cherry trees from access.
  • no mares in foal
  • I do thinks to keep the caterpillars from the mares
  • I will not breed any horses
  • Not a breeding facility, no preganant mares on farm
  • Don't have any pregnant mares.
  • We don't have a caterpillar problem at my farm.
  • Don't have breeding mares.
  • i have never had a pregnant mare
  • we dont have caterpillars here thank goodness
  • Never had problems with caterpillars and mares before and have raised foals for 27 years
  • I've removed trees from my pastures that attract them and cut out the tents at first notice.
  • 2006 lost a foal due to MRLS in Virginia. Didn't think it could happen to me since I knew about this
  • I spray with a bacteria that consumes the catepillars but is harmless to animals and birds.
  • None in our area. Have never seen them
  • i like horses
  • I haven't seen a caterpillar since we moved to the desert outside Phoenix, AZ!
  • burn the nests cut down cherry trees
  • Dont have any mares on farm but do have caterpillers so we spray with herbal insect killer
  • caterpillars aren't a problem in my area
  • I've never heard of this condition until now, will look into it as I would like to breed my pony.
  • don't have pregnant mares
  • Never knew there was a problem!!
  • We don't have either...caterpillars or pregnant mares
  • I just found some today in an apple tree. I manually pull them off and put them in soapy water.
  • We do not have any mares on our farm
  • Dont have any pregnant mares on the farm
  • Don't have any pregnant ones, but when I did have one, no I didn't
  • Carefully burning the nests helps to cut down on numbers
  • squish the catapillers
  • not to do so is utter foolishness!
  • This wasn't known when I had pregnant mares, but I would take steps now.
  • remove host trees from within 50 feet of fences
  • I have bred some very rare foals and I need to keep my mares and other stock safe from vermin.
  • No pregnant mares
  • I don't breed horse- please ADOPT
  • We do not have thowe kind of caterpillars in our area
  • don't have pregnant mares...or caterpillars
  • we don't breed
  • I am in the pacific northwest, do we have them here?
  • We do not have a catapillar problem
  • I burn every nest I find, Always have.
  • Live in Southern CA. Don't have them
  • No caterpillars on my property.
  • "No breeding" where i keep my mare but, i would quickly remove her from the danger, burn the nests!
  • Thanks for alerting northern Vermont
  • no pregnant mares in herd
  • caterpillars - give me a break - do we look stupid - it's a coverup by the mfg. of west nile vaccine
  • Not a ptoblem in our region
  • Don't have mares, don't have caterpillars (desert).
  • we don't have that big a problem with them
  • kill ALL catepillars!
  • no tent caterpillars in Utah
  • We live in Az. and don't have many caterpillars.
  • Not a problem in northern Canada
  • I don't breed my horses.
  • We don't have them in our area
  • I don't breed or have caterpillars so the topic is moot regarding such.
  • don't have any mares
  • cut the nests out and burn them.
  • Have a gelding and AZ does not have that many caterpillars, or lat least where I board
  • I inspect all trees and bushes on my place and destroy the caterpillars.
  • I have no preganant mares
  • no pregnant mares
  • Only have geldings
  • Destroy any web nests seen usually on tree branches
  • i fed fastrack to all of my horses during the mrls outbreaks and suffered one early fetal loss.
  • I removed/relocated all cherry trees; I prune overhanging limbs regularly & remove caterpillar nests
  • I don't breed my horse

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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