Food & Family Life in Indian Land, South Carolina
Probably Malacosoma americanum, eastern tent caterpillar moth. They can do some damage to tree leaves (and be gross), but usually not severe amounts of damage ...
I can't see the picture!!
They can weaken a tree, but are unlikely to kill an established one, unless there are repeated, successive infestations. A young tree they can strip all the leaves from and kill it. They're native to the region and a food source for raccoons, foxes and a number of birds, bats and reptiles. So maybe watch them and don't kill unless they're spreading crazy or it's a weak/young tree or you just want to get rid of them.http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/eastern_tent_caterpillar_m.htmhttp://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7111.html
hmm...now I have a conundrum
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