In mid-summer caterpillars and worms are in abundance. It’s also the time of year when massive webs begin showing up in trees.
These webs aren’t the result of a horrifically huge spider. They’re the byproduct of fall webworms, also commonly referred to as silkworms. However, true silkworms feed solely on the leaves of white mulberry trees. If you have a few in your yard that are covered in webs, silkworms are the culprits.
Fall webworms will do the same thing to just about any other type of deciduous tree species. The webs are nests for hundreds of webworms that feed on nearby leaves. They feed for 3-4 weeks, expanding their web as they go. The webworms won’t leave the tree until they’re ready to make a cocoon to sleep in for the winter.
Since silkworms only feed on the leaves, they won’t cause serious damage, but their handiwork can be unsightly. In large numbers they can also affect the health of young trees. If you’d prefer that your trees not resemble Halloween decorations, here’s what you can do to get rid of these annual yard pests.
Ways to Get Rid of Webworms
There are a few different methods for getting rid of webworms. Fortunately, none of them are too difficult.
Handpick Worms Off the Tree – If you catch webworms in the act early enough you can simply handpick them to prevent an infestation.
Attract Webworm Predators – As webworms fatten up, there are a number of predators that would love to make them a meal. Birds in particular love feasting on webworms. Hang a birdfeeder from each of the trees that are covered in webs. Put the feeders as close to the nest as possible so birds know where to find the worms.
Open Up the Nest – Take a stick and pull the webbing apart. This will help dislodge some of the webworms in the nest and make it easier for predators to pick them off.
Prune the Affected Branch – Silkworms won’t kill off a branch, but sometimes the easiest way to get rid of them is to prune the branch where the nest is built.
Use Insecticide – If your trees are being overrun by hungry silkworms or you have a number of young saplings, it’s time to consider using insecticide. There are a number of insecticides that can be sprayed on the leaves to control a variety of caterpillars, including silkworms. Before spraying check to make sure the nest is still active.
At Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. we can also treat your yard to take care of webworms that have already left the tree. With a custom pest control treatment we can help you get a handle on your webworm problem this summer and prevent an infestation next year. Give us a call to schedule an appointment!
Original Source: http://www.vulcantermite.com/seasonalpests/trees-full-silk-worms/