Prince Edward Island is stepping up efforts to monitor forest insect pests this summer and so far, officials say, they haven't noticed many tent caterpillars.

Crews from the provincial forestry division are now setting up dozens of monitoring stations across the Island, mostly on public forest land.

They're looking for half a dozen types of insect pests, including gypsy moths, spruce bark beetles and forest tent caterpillars.

Gypsy moth caterpillars and tent caterpillars can defoliate trees as they chomp their way through forests.

Data collected at the monitoring stations will be used to track insect numbers in years to come.

David Carmichael, who is heading the monitoring project, says this year the tent caterpillars don't seem to be a problem.

“Forest tent caterpillar, we did an egg mass survey last fall, I couldn't find an egg mass. Actually to be honest with you, we haven't found any egg masses since 2006. So I would have to say that the likelihood of seeing any significant defoliation this year is pretty minimal, when it comes to forest tent caterpillar,” he said.

Carmichael says woodlot owners should contact the forestry division if they think they have a problem with forest pests.