Fall webworms feeding

Fall webworm nest. Photo: S.D. Frank

Fall webworms, one of our native insect pests, are a perennial nuisance and in some cases a destructive pest.  I have seen large nests this week popping up in sourwood, choke cherry, other Prunus species, sweet gum, and many others.  These guys have been recorded on hundreds of plant species.  The best management in most cases is to prune out the nest or just poke it with a stick so parasitoids and birds can get in to kill the larvae. If insecticides become necessary you can find recommendations in our caterpillar insect note.  Fall webworms overwinter in mulch, leaf litter, and in protected spots such as under bark. Some caterpillars benefit from the warmth of urban areas in general and particularly if they are overwintering under shutters or other parts of buildings. The mimosa webworms in this article are a good example.

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