The Fall Webworms have arrived…

fall tree webworms

The Fall Tree Webworms unsightly masses appear in the late summer into early fall. Fall webworms are the larval form of a small white moth commonly seen in summer months. The pale yellow inch long caterpillars spend the duration of their larval state inside these nests, feasting on the encased leaves. As the leaves are devoured, the webbed nest will be expanded to accommodate fresh foliage.

Lasting damage to trees is rare. The impact of these pests is usually fleeting and strictly cosmetic. There is generally no harm in leaving these webs intact. Eventually the nests will break apart on their own as webworms prepare to overwinter and leaves will regenerate. They sure aren’t pretty though, and removing them prematurely will quickly restore beauty to the landscape and reduce future outbreaks.

Removal is as easy as it seems. Using a rake or long pole, simply pull down the webs and destroy the webworms by hand. The pest can also be eliminated using biological methods by tearing a hole in the delicate sack and allowing natural predators like yellow jackets, paper wasps and birds access to the caterpillars within.

Insecticides are usually not necessary for control of webworms, but in extreme cases, a light coating of appropriate insecticidal spray may be applied to the nest.