bugs - Knowledgebase Question

burbank, Ca
Question by angiev2323
November 29, 2010
i have either spider mites or webworms BAD. i think its cuz of our orange tree. what do i do


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Answer from NGA
November 29, 2010

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Spidermites leave tell-tale webbing between the leaves and the stems. The insects look like little specks of pepper and they move when disturbed. You can control spidermites with insecticidal soap sprays or you can simply hose them off with a strong stream of water from the hose. Spidermites love dry, dusty places so periodically hosing off your plants will discourage them from taking up residence.

Webworms also leave webs between the leaves and the stems but the webs are longer and thicker and as the population of webworms grow you'll see huge areas of branches covered with webs containing a nest of the pests. Webworms are best controlled by removing and destroying the individual nests then spraying with Bt (bacillus thuringensis) sold as Dipel or Thuricide. The pesticide can't penetrate the nests so you'll need to physically remove them, but it will coat the leaves and when the webworms feed they will get a dose of the Bt. It targets only caterpillars so it's reasonably safe to use in your landscape. Good luck with your eradication project!

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