WEBWORMS OFTEN CONFUSED FOR TENT CATERPILLARS

(08/02/2017)

Webworms are often confused for tent caterpillars.

"What you see in the trees are the fall webworms. They're the larvae or the caterpillar from a moth species," said Susan Olcott, a wildlife biologist for the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources.

Olcott says that many mistake the webworms for tent caterpillars that appear earlier in the year.

"They're not tent caterpillars. Tent caterpillars we have in the spring, where the webs are just in the crotches of trees, especially like cherries and apples. These are a completely different species, and they have their webs at the tips of the branches," Olcott said. Although the webworms' webs might look like they could damage a tree, they are not much of a threat.

Next spring the webworms will turn into little white moths, but they will have to survive this winter.

"They provide food for some of the songbirds. The cocoons will provide food for small mammals in the wintertime if they can find them," Olcott said.

Olcott does not recommend "burning out" the webworms or using insecticides to remove them.


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