Worms (or caterpillars) and webs in the trees are terrible this year!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chicmom, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello All-

    Here in Ohio, those fuzzy worms that make the webs in the trees are just awful! I've got at least five totally covered, dead trees and these things are just everywhere! I've shown my chickens these fuzzy things, but they are NOT INTERESTED at all!

    Even taking a drive, you see them everywhere! It's like they're out of control!

    Is anyone else having this in their area? It's like a plague or something! [​IMG]

    Does anybody know what to do about them? We just have to cut down the trees and burn the webs, but it's gotten to be so many trees that we can't keep up with them. Usually there is just a limb here or there, but now it's whole trees! [​IMG]

  2. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    I am in NE Ohio and noticed some on my apple and crabapple trees.I cut and bag them,but some I can not reach. I wonder if a spray from the dogs tick and flea shampoo would kill them.
    Are these called web worms? I bet there is something organic listed at gardens alive.I did not try to feed my hens the worms,but do give them a bowl of jap beetles I knock into water.Maybe the worms give off some bitter taste as a defense.

    I bet the ohio state university site has a page on it. I hope there is a biological control.I love killing bugs with bugs.
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    We had a major problem with them last year and the year before was pretty bad, too. The great news is you don't have to destroy the trees to get rid of the bugs. Any trees you see targeted by these tent caterpillars you can put a band of insect glue around the trunk to prevent re-infestation year after year. I have one particular tree that gets hit every year and this year I did some research on them. There are many control methods out there- the insect glue, pesticides (which I hate and try not to use), and then there are bacterial control sprays that affect only bugs and not humans or animals. A quick Google search on "tent caterpillar control" will yield a lot of results.

    Good luck.
  4. turtlebird

    turtlebird Songster

    Dec 11, 2009
    I noticed two trees with just one web on them this year. I sprinkled, rather DOUSED, the web with Sevin Dust. I also sprinkled the branches around the web as I noticed the worms travel back and forth to feed. It worked. The trees were a crab apple and a regular apple tree. I didn't even consider feeding the worms to the chickens, as web worms can be devastating to trees. They needed to be eradicated immediately. There is probably a better treatment, but I used what I had, and it worked.
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    CMV, thanks for the advice! I have a small six acre woods, and those things are outta control! And it's not just at my place.....my parents live quite a distance away, and they said they took a joy ride and couldn't believe that these worms are just everywhere.....I've got at least five trees that are entirely covered and they look dead! ARG!

    I'm always worried about pesticides and things like that because of my chickens......I will definitely google that so I can get something to help the poor trees.....

    Appreciate the help!
  6. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    We had an outbreak last year that was horrific, all of the nut trees and even elms were covered. I remembered what my G-Grandma used to say about these-

    "When the fuzzy caterpillars are abundant, you'll have a terrible Winter."

    We did. I'm not sure why those old Almanac-type myths exist, but this time her advice was dead-on: prepare for a long, cold, heavy Winter. [​IMG]

    Or don't. I like the nostalgia of observing these myths.
  7. Miltonchix

    Miltonchix Taking a Break

    Jul 14, 2007
    Milton, Florida
    Tent caterpillars are very easy to control. Seven, malathion, or just about any bug killer will kill them quickly. Once you kill a "nest" they're done for. If left unchecked they will spread fairly quickly too.
    If I have just a few nest/webs I've burned them too. No chemicals, but you have to be VERY careful of surroundings. If its overly dry DON'T burn them.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member 8 Years

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    miltonchix, good to know after you kill the nest they won't be back= I hate them
  9. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member 9 Years

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I havnt seen any tent caterpillers around this year so far, like we had last year eating up the leaves on our sweetgum and flowering pear trees. Sure enough we had record cold temps....terrible long lasting cold winter for this far south. However, pine needles are already dropping out of the trees as well as the weeping willow tree...not good.
  10. 4estgump

    4estgump In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2009
    Anderson Co. KY
    Hi All,

    My weapon of choice is a hand held butane torch. Burn the tent and the worms. Start at the bottom and work up. The worms will burn before the tree limbs.

    Hope This Helps 4est

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