When you see a tree, words like majestic, serene and awe-inspiring spring to your mind.
Creepy and scary are two words that rarely describe trees. But, that’s likely what you think when you see large, silky nests in your tree.
Now, you’re wondering what kind of spider builds webs in trees. Surprisingly, it isn’t a spider. It’s another tree pest – fall webworms. Learn what they are, why they make webs and how to get rid of those “spider webs” in your tree.
Helping Trees Covered in Spider Webs
Why does my tree have huge, giant “spider webs” on tree branches?
Spiders actually don’t make those webs in trees. Instead, you can thank fall webworms.
Fall webworms are caterpillars that weave a thick web as they feed on trees. Fruit trees are usually their first pick, but they feed on more than 100 different kinds of trees.
What’s the lifecycle of fall webworms? When are they around?
As their name suggests, you’ll spot their webs most often in the fall.
But, they’re there all year. In winter, they lay eggs, which hatch in spring. Come summer, those caterpillars eat your tree leaves and begin spinning webs in time for fall.
Do fall webworms damage our trees? Are webworms poisonous?
Though fall webworms are quite the eyesore, that’s about their only threat. These caterpillars aren’t poisonous and don’t damage established trees. Phew.
It’s a different story for younger trees, though. As webworms feed on young trees, they can cause complete leaf loss before the tree has a chance to thrive. In this case, your trees are counting on you to step in and stop the pest.
How to get rid of “spider webs” in trees
First, use a broom to remove webs from branches and improve the look of your trees.
But, fall webworms live in cocoons in winter rather than their webs. So, even if you remove their webs, they can still return next summer.
To get rid of fall webworms for good, prune webbed branches or apply an insecticide to tree leaves, not the webs.