Controlling Webworms

Sep 6, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Many people try to spray insecticides on the nests of eastern tent caterpillars or fall webworms. The webs, however, protect the caterpillars and usually the nests are too high to effectively reach with your sprayer. Trying to burn the nests may start a fire or badly damage the tree. One specialists says that if you can safely reach the nest, use the five-fingered, digital, integrated pest management approach. Both these caterpillars have hairs on their body but neither one can sting or harm you. So simply take your hand (gloved if you’re finicky) and pull out the nest. If you have young children, get them to stomp on the caterpillars so they won’t climb back up the tree. Otherwise, put the web mass in a bucket of soapy water. This is one method guaranteed not to cause resistance in the targeted pest!