One day, your tree looks completely normal. Then the next, it’s draped in creepy-looking webs. Why is that?
That, friends, is what happens when fall webworms or Eastern tent caterpillars pay a visit. They spin showy nets that sort of make it look like a tree is covered in spider webs.
Read below for more about these web-making caterpillars, including what trees they’re drawn to and how to deal with them.
These pests are often mistaken for each other, but a few key distinctions set them apart.
There are three big differences between these pests:
These caterpillars also prefer to feed on different trees.
Fall webworms feed on more than 100 tree species, but the most common targets are:
If you live in Texas, fall webworms favor:
And, Eastern tent caterpillars gravitate toward:
It’s worth noting that these pests typically don’t cause much harm to trees. At most, trees will lose a chunk of leaves, but they won’t experience any other side effects.
That said, if you want to get rid of big webs in trees just because they look unpleasant, here’s what to do:
The best way to prevent these pests from spinning their webs? Beat them to the punch.
For tent caterpillar control, check to see if the insect laid eggs in winter. They look like shiny, reddish-brown bulbs on tree branches. You can try to scrape them off, and if that doesn’t work, prune off the branches. Do the same for fall webworm eggs in summer. The egg masses are discreet green clumps on the bottom of tree leaves.
If it feels like tree worms and webs are out of your control, Davey arborists are here to help.