Texas Gardening forum: Army Worms in Pecan Tree and on Structures

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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Oct 10, 2012 5:17 PM CST

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We got an e-mail about army worms in our pecan trees at the lake. We have a pecan tree on the side of our smoke house and another by the bunk house. I've usually poked the webs on the trees and let the wasps get them. Are web worms and army worms the same thing? In the 28 years we've had the lake house, we've always had web worms to deal with. It's never been a big deal. I'm not sure if our neighbors are overreacting because they've just started going up to the lake during the cool months and haven't seen them before, or if there really is an "invasion." We were just up there a week ago and there were no webs anywhere. He didn't mention webs, just worms.

According to the e-mail, the worms are in every pecan tree in the neighborhood. However, "our worms" are going into their yard! Is there something to use on the worms that will kill them, but won't kill us?

I was going to post his e-mail because the seriousness of the matter came across as pretty silly. I guess we're going to have to drive up there and upset the eco-system. Please let me know if we can spray something to stop them from covering our neighbors while they sleep. Rolling my eyes.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Oct 11, 2012 9:12 PM CST
Army worms only attack grasses as far as I know. "Your" worms seem more likely to be web worms which do no permanent harm - just look bad.
Porkpal
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Oct 11, 2012 10:02 PM CST

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Thanks porkpal! It rained today so even if we had Bt to spray on them, the rain would have washed it off. I think we'll just wait 'em out on this one.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Oct 14, 2012 10:41 PM CST

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porkpal,
If you see this, I'm sending photos of the caterpillars and the trees. Our entire neighborhood at the lake has these caterpillars crawling up their houses and decks. There are no webs in the pecan trees, and there are no leaves on any of them! No webs in trees or on the ground.

We went up a couple of days ago to spray the webs. No webs and very few caterpillars. I had Bt and Malathion,but I didn't see any need to spray. The trees are completely striped! The house behind our boat with the huge pecan tree had lights left on and the porch furniture and walls were covered in worms.
Both our pecan trees were stripped. The extension agent in Llano told one of our neighbors they were Tiger moth caterpillars. I looked them up, but they don't look like these.

Thumb of 2012-10-15/Bubbles/eaa7fe Thumb of 2012-10-15/Bubbles/05bfc9


Thumb of 2012-10-15/Bubbles/a5a78f Thumb of 2012-10-15/Bubbles/bcf5ca (Pecan in back of our smoke house.)
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Oct 15, 2012 5:31 AM CST
If I may, what you have is a fall webworm.
http://insects.tamu.edu/fieldguide/cimg314.html
The damage appears to be quite awesome.
Awesome too, that an extension agent didn't have a clue. lol
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Oct 15, 2012 7:42 AM CST
those don't look like army worms either. we have caterpillars that strip our oaks but they are not furry like those. i have no clue...
Porkpal
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Oct 15, 2012 7:51 AM CST
army worms are totally different in appearance from web worms

I'll see if I can find some photo links.
[Last edited by pod - Oct 15, 2012 7:52 AM (+)]
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Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
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Bubbles
Oct 15, 2012 9:22 AM CST

Moderator

But there are no webs in any of the trees. In the 28 years we've had the lake place, we've had fall webworms in the pecan trees. They make a mess, but they don't stay long and don't seem to hurt the trees. There are no webs on the ground either. There were a couple of rainstorms last week that could have knocked webs out of the trees, but there's no sign of them of them on the ground. One neighbor who lives up there full time said they just seemed to strip the trees and then crawl down the trees and up the houses!
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Oct 15, 2012 12:40 PM CST
Sorry... guess I don't have a clue then.

Your excellent photos represent the fall webworm http://i.pbase.com/v3/48/95248/1/48306132.FallWebWorm.jpg

My critter books don't show a hirsute armyworm although perhaps it is a new adaptation.

Sorry to have meddled but good luck with the headache.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Oct 15, 2012 1:37 PM CST
Maybe they are like locusts. When times are hard grasshoppers turn into locusts and eat everything in their path. Has it been a rough year for web worms?
Porkpal
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Oct 15, 2012 2:36 PM CST

Moderator

Pod.....I sure don't think you are meddling! I just seem to be hitting dead ends on this. To me they look just like the nasty webworms that fall out of the trees and onto my shirt or hair every fall! The only thing different is the web, or lack of it. (I couldn't access the link you sent). I sent the photos to our local Extension ofc. I hope they can tell us how to control them next year.

Porkpal, I didn't know that fact about grasshoppers. One more reason not to like 'em! As for "a rough year for webworms," just wait till next year!
Name: Carey
Austin, TX (Zone 8b)
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careyana
Oct 16, 2012 10:45 AM CST
Sandi, you may want to check with Dale on the bug ID forums on that other site. He's part of the lepidoptera society but knows most of the caterpillars on sight. Heck, he gave me great info a few months ago on the bee hawkmoth's host plant, which was news to my Bio instructor the other day.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Oct 16, 2012 11:46 AM CST

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Thanks, I'll do that!
South Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: United States of America Region: Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Justin
Oct 16, 2012 3:36 PM CST
I think it is Walnut Caterpillar

http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges...

http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/fidls/walnutcat/walnutfidl...

Excellent photo of caterpillar! Sandi it is good idea to put a picture of caterpillar on BugGuide.Net.
Just crop a little more first picture to have only the caterpillar on photo
(the format (sides ratio) of cropping it is not important - can be "custom" crop)

Here is the site
http://bugguide.net/node/view/15740

You need just to register on register page

http://bugguide.net/user/register

You can load the photo here

http://bugguide.net/node/view/6/bgimage

When you are log you have, on this page, (up-left corner) "add image" . Select add-image and you have a page for submit image.
You need to fill some information. But it is very simple. (For title you can put just a sign "?" or caterpllar? or ...

Insects reporting is useful because is performed and a monitoring of them.


If you can not post the picture, I will try to explain in more detail.

Do not ask insect control measures. They will not respond. Ask for identification only.


Justin
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Oct 16, 2012 4:35 PM CST

Moderator

Thank you, Justin. I cropped the photos and will try to send them after dinner tonight. What a good suggestion. Even I could see them more clearly! I just didn't think of it. I'll definitely report back what I find out, including a possible e-mail from the entomologist for Travis County Agri-Life.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Oct 17, 2012 9:41 AM CST

Moderator

Justin, I followed your instructions and submitted my photo. I'm waiting for an ID. Thanks!
South Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: United States of America Region: Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Cactus and Succulents Purslane
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Justin
Oct 17, 2012 2:25 PM CST
Sandi, I don't see the picture on bugguide. Can you give me a link to page?
Justin
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Oct 17, 2012 2:36 PM CST

Moderator

I checked and I don't see it either. I posted one photo with an explanation this morning about 10:30. I just assumed it would take a bit for someone to see it.
South Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: United States of America Region: Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Cactus and Succulents Purslane
Image
Justin
Oct 17, 2012 2:48 PM CST
I think you must to resend the pictures. Maybe was missing something on your submitted.
So you log-in on site and repeat.
If something is missing appear one mesage and the photo it is not sended.
Only first time it is a little difficult becouse you must to fill some dates.
You can see your picture immediately has been sent.
Justin
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Master Gardener: Texas
Region: Texas Tropicals Plumerias Ferns Greenhouse Garden Art
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Bubbles
Oct 17, 2012 2:49 PM CST

Moderator

Justin, I've resubmitted it and it's there now.
I did notice that I hadn't "titled" the request. Maybe that was the information that was missing.
[Last edited by Bubbles - Oct 17, 2012 2:52 PM (+)]
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