Cob Web On Tree Limb - Knowledgebase Question

Dunedin, FL
Avatar for cgelini
Question by cgelini
June 15, 2001
I was out in the back yard this am and noticed 1 of the tree limbs was covered with what looks like a large cob web. I didn't see it last weekend. What could cause this and what could we do about it? Thanks for your time, Cindy

Answer from NGA
June 15, 2001
At this time of year, it's probably tent caterpillars. They generally expand their tent-like home as they feed so you'll probably see the mass continue to grow for several weeks. Chemical control is difficult because they're protected by their webbing. For the most part, their damage isn't too serious and healthy trees will recover when the caterpillars leave. When tent caterpillar populations grow large enough, beneficial wasps arrive to take care of them. The wasps lay eggs inside the caterpillars. When the eggs hatch, hungry larvae feed on the insides of the caterpillars.

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