|The lizard after its meal.|
Webworm larvae, or caterpillars, are about an inch long when fully grown. They are pale green to yellow with tufts of long hairs projecting from their body. Most people notice webbing that they create on branches. Webworms feed with in the webbing and use it as protection from predators. When the caterpillars need new foliage to feed on, hey expand the web.
To manage webworms, try the following:
- prune eggs masses off before the caterpillars emerge (egg masses are on the underside of leaves and are covered with hairs from the adult moth)
- prune out small webs when they begin to form in the spring
- knock webs out of the tree with a stick or a high pressure jet of water; you can also open the webs with a stick or water to allow predators into the web
- look for products with active ingredients such as Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, spinosad, azadirachtin
- even when using a pesticide, you first must open the web to get the pesticide to where the caterpillars are located