Fall Webworms Attack Pecan Trees
May 7, 2013
There are several types of caterpillars that can present big problems for your trees here in Texas. One of these groups of leaf-eating pests are Fall Webworms. These caterpillars can defoliate your trees, which stunts their growth and vigor. Early detection and proper identification of an infestation is key to properly treating the tree.
Hyphantria cunea, commonly known as Fall Webworms, can often seem to be overtaking our trees. Their webs are easily discernable, not to mention unsightly! Although heavy infestations in trees are not usually fatal, the worms can leave a tree more vulnerable to opportunistic diseases and other pests. Webworms are most commonly found in pecans, mulberries and sweet gums. In North Texas, two to four generations of the worms per year is the norm. Webworms overwinter as pupae on the ground and on tree bark. When webworm eggs hatch, the resulting larvae start to "weave" their silk-like webs. All of the larvae inside a web are the offspring of a single egg mass. The life cycle from egg to adult is approximately 50 days. To control webworms in webs, we recommend removing any low hanging webs and disposing of them in trash receptacles. For webs higher up, please rely on your tree experts to handle
There are natural methods we can use to control infestations of webworms. If we can identify an infestation in a timely fashion, we can use a non-toxic plan of installing a biological control: wasp discs containing live Trichogramma wasp eggs. These microscopic and determined predators go after the web larvae, leaving humans and pets alone. Populations of webworms can also be treated with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), deadly to the caterpllars but harmless to birds, fish, pets and people. If you suspect your tree has a webworm infestation, give us a call for an inspection at 214-528-2266 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted: May 7, 2013