HGIC is receiving numerous calls about “spider-looking” webs on the ends of tree branches. The culprits are fall webworms (Hyphantria cunea). The webs are filled with 1 inch long caterpillars with a black to reddish head and a light yellow to greenish body with 2 long black stripes. They are covered in long, white hairs. Fall webworms are native to the US and attack 90 different species of trees including pecan, hickory, persimmon, sourwood, walnut, beech, birch, cherry, and crabapple to name a few. These voracious caterpillars will eat the foliage, sometimes nearly defoliating the tree. When the caterpillars mature and leave the web, they will pupate and overwinter in tree bark or leaf litter at the base of the tree. Call HGIC 1-888-656-9988 for helpful control information.
For more information please see our updated blog on Fall Webworm Management.