3 Insects That Make Webs in Trees

Seeing webs in trees can be a little disconcerting if you can’t identify the creature that made them. 

In this post, Eco Tree Experts, your go-to tree service professionals in West Palm Beach, will discuss the issue and provide advice on how to handle infested trees.

#1 Fall Webworm

What is making that web? It might not be a spider! Webworms also create a large web when in the caterpillar stage. 

These webs can be two or three feet in width and typically span the ends of branches. You will typically see a heavy infestation in summer, but the caterpillars are also active through to fall.  

This bug is an indiscriminate feeder. It will chomp on 80 or more species of trees, including the following favorites

  • Black cherry
  • Maple
  • Elm
  • Birch
  • Walnut

Look out for the larvae in July or August, but relax; these insects feed for about six weeks and do far less damage than those that feed in the spring. You can reduce the numbers by removing the webs. However, this can prove challenging as they are high up.

What Should I Do About Webworms?

Typically, the damage these bugs do is minimal because the tree has had all spring to produce food reserves. You can also inspect the tree, remove infested branches, or pick out the cocoons one at a time. However, this is time-consuming. 

If you do want to get rid of them, it may be easier when they are finished feeding and move into bark crevices or soil to form their cocoon. Our advice is to deal with the infestation as soon as the webs start to form because these high webs in trees prevent the pesticide from effectively reaching the caterpillars. You would need to break open the nest with a high-pressure spray or garden hose and also remove the green egg clumps to get to the worms.

However, it is far better to call in a tree service for advice and the right equipment. Leave the webs in place; they will naturally come loose during the winter, and the webworm caterpillars will build new ones in spring.

#2 Eastern Tent Caterpillars

The Eastern tent caterpillars are very similar to fall webworms except that they feed in spring. It makes them far more dangerous to trees as they are responsible for extensive leaf damage when the tree most needs to replenish its resources.

These caterpillars’ tree webs are thicker and more likely to be in forks rather than at the end of branches. The bugs will feed on at least 100 species of tree but favor the following: 

  • Pecan 
  • Wild Cherry
  • Black Walnut
  • Mulberry
  • Persimmon
  • Sweetgum

With Eastern Tent Caterpillars, we recommend removing the webs. Use a broomstick or something to scoop them out of the tree and burn them away from the trunk or branches to avoid causing the tree significant damage. You can also remove the reddish-brown egg clumps. 

#3 Spider Mites

Spider mites are a type of arachnid that are so tiny that they are difficult to spot. At best, you might notice what looks like moving dots. The fine, silky web and leaf loss are the most obvious signs of spider mites in your trees or plants.

These pests spread quickly and feed voraciously. So, if you notice spider mites, try washing them out of the tree using a garden hose. However, we do advise calling in professionals to ensure there is no recurrence.

Contact the Tree Professionals Today!

Are you looking for a solution for webs in trees? Do you have other tree removal questions? Contact Eco Tree Experts at (833) 321-TREE for the right advice from experienced local arborists every time.