Florida-based tree service professionals share what is really happening with those webs in your trees.
Getting Rid of Tree Webs
Healthy trees are an asset to any piece of property. It increases property value and curb appeal of a home or business. If it is spring, however, and the trees look like they are ready for Halloween, it is really unsightly. When a tree is covered with webs, it may look unappealing, but is it harmful to the tree itself? If the tree is infested with spiders, what should a homeowner do? We are going to discuss what is actually in the trees and what to do about them.
Are They From Spiders?
If your tree is covered with what looks like cobwebs, it is not from spiders. Spiders do sometimes live in trees, but they are not dangerous and will not cover a whole tree. The only poisonous spiders in this area of the world are black widows and brown recluses, neither of which choose to reside in trees. They tend to like enclosed spaces like basements and storm shelters. The webs that appear to be taking over your trees are actually from fall webworms or tent caterpillars.
Webworms, Tent Caterpillars, and Spider Mites
All three of these pests build some kind of web on trees and plants. While they are for the most part harmless, they can be unappealing and can be harmful to younger trees that do not have as many leaves to lose. These three particular groups attack the leaves in different ways and at slightly different times of the year.
The specifics of these creatures are detailed below.
- Spider Mites: These almost microscopic bugs eat leaves and weave webs as a form of protection. They are a common pest and large infestations can cause tree decline if too many leaves are affected.
- Tent caterpillars: As their name suggests, these moth caterpillars hatch out in March and begin building their protective web tents in April, consuming leaves as they go. They cocoon and hatch within a few weeks and lay their own eggs at the end of May. Their webs don’t last long, but can do serious damage to early spring growth that is important for tree nourishment.
- Fall Webworms: Webworms, which are also moth caterpillars, have a slightly longer life cycle than that of the tent caterpillar. They are most obvious in the autumn when they weave their webs, but they are there year round. The eggs are laid in winter, hatch in summer and they make their webs in the fall.
How to Get Rid of These Pests
Though it does take a bit of elbow grease to get rid of these critters, it can be done. All the steps have to be followed, because skipping a step may mean missing some of the eggs or larvae. The best way to take care of pests is to consult with an arborist and allow them to do the work.
This is the pattern that should be followed for removal:
- Remove webs with a broom or a stick.
- Prune back branches that have webs and have lost leaves.
- Apply insecticide or horticultural oils on the leaves and branches to take care of eggs or cocoons.
- Keep the tree healthy with proper watering and fertilizing.
About Any Town Tree
Offering free competitive estimates on tree trimming, tree removal, and stump grinding, Any Town Tree provides Naples, FL and the surrounding areas with excellent tree health care. Call today for our assistance with your tree health care.