Insects

Fall Webworms

Fall Webworms
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About an inch long, this leaf-feeding pest is a long-haired, pale green or yellow caterpillar with a black stripe down its back. It feeds from inside the silken, web-like nests it builds at branch tips.

Target: Fruit, nut, and shade trees; roses and other ornamental shrubs.

Damage: Leaves are chewed; individual branches and sometimes entire plants are defoliated. Plants are covered with dirty white webbing.

Life cycle: White moths lay woolly egg masses on leaf undersides. After feeding, the caterpillars crawl down the trunk to pupae; pupate overwinter in litter or attached to tree bark. There are up to four generations a year.

Notes: Use a long pole to destroy webs. When spraying, poke the sprayer through webs to get to the leaves the caterpillars are eating. Tent caterpillars are similar pests.