Fall webworms (Hyphantria cunea) are a moth in the family Erebidae, known principally for its larval stage. At this stage, they create a characteristic webbed nest on the tree limbs of a wide variety of hardwoods in the late summer and fall.
About the Fall webworms
The adult of Fall webworms is typically a white color, though some may have dark-colored marks. In most cases, only one generation of Fall webworms emerge per year. Larvae will appear in late Summer to early Fall.
An adult moth will lay her eggs on the underside of leaves. These eggs will be covered in a hair-like sack. Usually, the eggs will hatch in about a week.
Once hatched, these eggs will produce caterpillars, which can be varied in color. The webs created to house these caterpillars typically are at the end of branches and are maintained by a group.
Fall webworms will feed on just about any type of deciduous tree. They eat the leaves from trees or plants, which will most often result in a large portion of defoliation.
In the South, these insects will typically nest in pecan trees, black walnut, American elm, hickory, fruit trees, and some maples. In some areas, persimmon and sweetgum trees are also infected. In the West, alder, willow, cottonwood and fruit trees are usually susceptible. In all areas, plant hosts can include madrone, mulberry, ailanthus, American sycamore, and Asian white birch.
Though not an exhaustive list, these are the most common trees affected by Fall webworms.
Let Mockingbird Tree Care help you protect your trees from webworms in the Fall. We are Master Certified Arborists, as well as professional residential and commercial tree care providers in the Rogers, AR area.
Call us today at 479-633-9876
Fall webworms video
Treatment for Fall webworms
When the webs of the fall webworms are within reach, they can be pruned away or pulled apart. This will remove most of a colony. This exercise can be difficult, since they are sometimes out of easy reach. And, sometimes, it is not always effective.
Mockingbird Tree Care can help prevent the formation of fall webworms by spraying your trees when the caterpillars have just hatched.
When should you spray for webworms?
We can use a naturally occurring bacteria to kill the webworm caterpillars. This bacteria is harmless to most other organisms, animals and plants, alike.
When to spray is the most important factor in eliminating these pests. If done too early, the caterpillars will be unaffected. Done too late, the webs will have already formed. We recommend several applications of the bacteria spray done over several days.
Typically we start spraying at the end of August and continue several more applications over several days.
Protect your trees & start now
If you’d like to have Mockingbird Tree Care protect your trees and plants from Fall webworms, just give us a call. Once the time has passed, there is little that can be done until next year.