The Q&A Archives: Hairy worms on Pecan tree

Question: My pecan tree is covered with white hairy, black worms. They are eating my leaves. What kind of worms are these and should I be concerned that they will REALLY harm the tree?

Answer: Rean,

What you most likely are seeing is webworms. Webworms form large loose web structures in the branches of trees. They absolutely love mulberry and pecan as well as a number of other tree species.

The simplest way to deal with webworms is to take a long pole and destroy their protective webs. Repeat this every time you see that they have built more webbing. Without the protection, they are sitting duck for paper wasps and other predators.

An effective, organic spray option is to apply a spray containing B.t. to the leaves after disturbing the webs. B.t. is sold under many brand names including Dipel and Thuricide, and is most effective on young caterpillars. When they eat the leaves sprayed with B.t. the caterpillars will soon get sick, stop eating and die.

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