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Forum > Miscellaneous > Webworm Infestation---any Gardeners out there with advice? ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Webworm Infestation---any Gardeners out there with advice?
They are voracious and there are millions of them...
tlmck3
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tlmck3
Advanced Beginner
Illinois USA
Member since 7/11/05
Posts: 3774
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Date: 8/3/08 7:21 PM

These are disgusting caterpillars that have covered the trees outside my back door (in a neighbor's yard) with giant webs where they are incubating their young.

In the period of two weeks we have gone from a couple of webs to massive coverage of several very large trees. Grotesque, ugly things filled with teaming larvae. Now they are emerging by the thousands....little pale yellow/green hairy caterpillars who are stripping the leaves off of EVERYTHING in their path.

I think we probably can't do much with this year's crop of larvae. Last year we had a few small clumps of webs in the neighborhood. This year they are rampant. The woman in the next apartment and I have spent twenty minutes at a time smashing hundreds of them as they march across the chain link fence onto our back porch. Next year??? I can't even contemplate their exponential population increase without my stomach doing flips. (Not to mention being enraged at my stripped climbing rose vine...the stripped flowering pear...the stripped Virginia Creeper I just planted to cover up the chain link fence they are marching across.)

------
I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, photographer

Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage

St. Augustine

rhoda bicycle

rhoda bicycle
Intermediate
Saskatchewan CANADA
Member since 6/26/05
Posts: 1148
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Date: 8/4/08 9:35 AM

High-pressure blasting from a garden hose attachment might knock them out of the tree. From there you could douse them with a hot water, soap and borax mixture.

Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Tennessee USA
Member since 2/9/04
Posts: 7837
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In reply to tlmck3


Date: 8/4/08 11:01 AM

Chemicals. You need chemicals. They sound like what are commonly called (around here) Tent Caterpillars Tent Caterpillars

SansSouci572
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SansSouci572
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California USA
Member since 4/8/02
Posts: 3623
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Date: 8/4/08 11:53 AM

And I thought having ants on my back porch was bad!
Oh Gawd! Sorry no help here. I always try to do non-chemicals first, but then if they ate my roses...I don't know what I would do.
Call the organic pest people first, then if I had to do chemicals..
If only you had known last year! Maybe your neighborhood should have a meeting about this!!

------
"What you WANT is irrelevant, what you've CHOSEN is at hand." --Mr. Spock

tlmck3
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tlmck3
Advanced Beginner
Illinois USA
Member since 7/11/05
Posts: 3774
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In reply to Doris W. in TN


Date: 8/5/08 9:17 PM

Doris,

They are like tent caterpillars but there are MORE of them than I ever saw of tents....I used to have to cut the grass under tent-caterpillar infested trees as a child ---which is why my reaction to these is so ...visceral...I remember the tents dropping out of the trees ONTO MY BODY as I mowed. (shudder.)

I think I need chemicals but the trees are not on our property. They are in back of a bar which is not a good neighbor in any way....There is some kind of biological control method....don't know how much it costs. Have to figure out how to get it into the ground near the roots---which are on the other side of a tall fence....

The trees that harbor them are nasty trees to start with: Siberian Elms...Box Elders...Alianthus...One Mulberry which I mind less only because I can make paper from the inner bark of it's smaller limbs....the trees are almost as pesty as the critters....If only our overpopulations of pigeons and squirrels ate caterpillars, we'd be all set....

Rhoda--That is an excellent suggestion--even if it doesn't make a dent in the population, it will give me pleasure to kill them en masse....

------
I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, photographer

Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage

St. Augustine

Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Tennessee USA
Member since 2/9/04
Posts: 7837
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In reply to tlmck3


Date: 8/5/08 10:53 PM

We had two humongous mulberry trees next to our previous home that was 90+ years old, and so were the trees, if not older. OMG, the mess they made when those mulberries dropped onto the ground. The dark purple stains on our carpet! Ack. They were lost to a tornado a couple of years ago long after we moved.

mastdenman
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mastdenman  Friend of PR
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 1/12/04
Posts: 6134
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Date: 8/6/08 0:00 AM

I love mulberries.

------
Marilyn

January 2009 to January 2010 81 yards out and 71yards in January 2010 to the present 106.7 yards out and 146.5 yards in. January 2011 to the present: 47 yards out and 69 yards in.

sewbehind
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sewbehind
Beginner
Ontario CANADA
Member since 6/30/05
Posts: 840
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Date: 8/9/08 6:11 PM

We have those too! I use a long poled pruner, and then burn them. Not nice, but neither are chemicals.
Marshmallows, anyone???

Helen

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Vermont USA
Member since 8/14/05
Posts: 11032
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Date: 8/9/08 8:40 PM

You may want to spray with bacillus thuringiensis. Several years ago here we had a Gypsy Moth infestation and many sprayed trees in the area with that bio-insecticide. Google that stuff and heres a link:

Biology and Control of Tent Caterpillars

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

amadoofus

amadoofus
Illinois USA
Member since 2/8/05
Posts: 187
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Date: 8/9/08 9:13 PM

We had tons of them once years ago and my husband sprayed with Sevin. Killed them ALL and they never have returned.

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