View Full Version : Catapillers on tree?

Kirk (KC) Constable
03-25-2006, 3:27 PM
I've never seen this before...pretty cool. This mass of catapillers (I guess) is about the size of a football, maybe 5' up the tree. Not too many stragglers, and not too many running away from the group. Do they come from the ground, or in the tree or what? Please don't tell me they're something that's killing the giant tree! :eek:


Tim Morton
03-25-2006, 4:06 PM
thats what they are doing...they call them tent moths here in vermont.


Gary Max
03-25-2006, 5:16 PM
Ok---------- I won't tell you ---------but he did.

Cliff Rohrabacher
03-25-2006, 5:21 PM
Kill the Catapilars. They are evil.

Chris Fite
03-25-2006, 7:38 PM
Tent caterpillars rarely kill trees unless already diseased and weakened. They are mostly an unattractive nuisance.

Paul Downes
03-25-2006, 10:56 PM
I'm not certain those are tent catapillers. If they are 2-, 2-1/2 inches long they may be gypsy moth catapillers. Kill them on sight. I have a large walnut tree in the yard that gets a mob of them varmits on the trunk every year. I always knock them into a coffee can with some gas in it. So far they haven't done much damage to the tree.

Curt Fuller
03-26-2006, 12:11 AM
Watch them for a while and see if they start spelling out words. If they do and one of the words is "REDRUM", run for your life!!!

Norman Hitt
03-26-2006, 1:33 AM
KC, one way to know if they are destructive to the tree, is to get them off and put them in a jar and drop by your local County Agent's office and ask them to look at them, and I'll bet they can give you an answer, OR stop by a "Real Nursery" and ask them.

We get a lot of "Bag Worms", (at least that's what everyone calls them here), and they can almost strip a tree of it's leaves if left alone. They especially like elms, non bearing mulberry, and pecans, and they sure look similar to the ones in your picture.

Jim O'Dell
03-26-2006, 10:35 AM
I agree with Norman. Although I haven't seen them in person yeet, it sounds like what has been described to me as bag worms. I have them here on the property, mostly n the Pecan trees. Seems I remember someone saying somethin you could put around the trunk of the tree that would stop them. Jim.

Kirk (KC) Constable
03-26-2006, 10:52 AM
Well...Yikes! They look like the little wooly worms I've seen all my life...just never noticed them on/in trees.

Thanks for the info. :(

Ben Roman
03-26-2006, 5:14 PM
Those are webworms... They are a nuisance but they do not harm the tree. They arrive in my oaks ( I have 28 oaks in my yard) every year. Make a mess of silky webs on my oaks and the house looks like the Munsters house for 3 weeks. Then they go away.

Have fun


Charles McKinley
03-26-2006, 6:11 PM
Looks like Gypsy moths to me. I would take a sample to the extension agent to be sure and kill the rest just to be on the safe side. The gypsy moths did a lot of damage around here in NW Pennsylvania. Now we have tons of little German Beetles that they released to kill the moths.

Norman Hitt
03-26-2006, 8:10 PM
Those are webworms... They are a nuisance but they do not harm the tree. They arrive in my oaks ( I have 28 oaks in my yard) every year. Make a mess of silky webs on my oaks and the house looks like the Munsters house for 3 weeks. Then they go away.

Have fun


Dern my memory, WEBWORMS is wha I meant to say, not Bagworms. They don't go away out here, especially in the trees I mentioned before, and as I said, they will stay till they have nearly stripped the tree.

If you spray the tree, you have to put some liquid dishwashing soap in the mix so it will stick on the leaves and the webs, because the spray usually won't pentetrate the web enclosures they build. They make a VERY UNSIGHTLY of a tree also.

Don Henthorn Smithville, TX
03-26-2006, 10:18 PM
Once the web worms have made the web, try to get a pole long enough to break open a fair sized hole in the web. The wasps will thank you as you stand there and watch them go into the web to lay their eggs in the worms. That is what a bug guy said anyway.

Paul Downes
03-26-2006, 11:22 PM
Just thought I'd mention it. I use a 1 qt. spray bottle with a pump in it to spray a mix of water with a 1/4-1/2 cup of liquid dish detergent. This is a very effective bug killer. If you were to call the orkin guys out they might very well use an 'insecticidal soap' spry which is not much more than what I just mentioned. I have over the years taken out 100's if not 1000's of wasp and hornet nests with this spray. While I don't mind bugs much, I don't like them building nests where they can harass me or the kids. My dad was an entomologist and this was the most effective method he knew of that was enviromentaly friendly. I have never been stung using this spray. The soap water mix will kill most bugs within 20-40 sec. They have a hard time flying when coated with the stuff and they don't seem to want to do anything but get away from it.

Bill Lewis
03-27-2006, 6:00 AM
Dern my memory, WEBWORMS is wha I meant to say, not Bagworms.
Yup, Bagworms look like the picture below. They can kill a full size evergreen (leyland cypress) in one season if left alone. There are varieties of evergreens that are becoming available that are resistant to bagworms. We just ordered some (6) for a screen along the front property line.

Found this site with some more information.

Bagworms (http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Entomology/entfacts/trees/ef440.htm)


Tent Caterpillars aka webworms (http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Entomology/entfacts/trees/ef424.htm)

I decided to do another search on Gypsy moths, you may want to check it out. they are very similar in appearance to the ones you show, and also very similar to tent caterpillars. I say when in doubt kill'm We had some gypsy moths nearly kill a small oak tree because we thought they were tent caterpillars.

Gypsy Moths (http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Entomology/entfacts/trees/ef425.htm)

Kirk (KC) Constable
03-27-2006, 9:03 AM
I removed the big batch, and a couple smaller groups up higher. Don't see anymore.

Thanks for the replies.

Jerry Clark
03-27-2006, 9:31 AM
They call them army worms in Minnesota and I saw them in very large groups where they would strip the trees bare and then move to another area and across roads-- there was so many on the train tracks a couple years ago, that a train pulling iron ore cars could not get traction and had to be moved with another locomotive. They seem to do an invasion every seven years. Glad I live in So California where we only have earthquakes!:cool:

Rob Nolan
03-27-2006, 10:14 AM
Those are gypsy moth catapillers! In large number they will eat every leave from that tree. About 20 years ago they killed large numbers of tree's here in New England!