As you may know, tent worms are long worms that can reach 2” in length. They have white marks and their back and hairy spines.
These guys are pretty ugly, and it’s no surprise that you want to get rid of them, but did you know that they can cause great damage to trees?
In fact, according to Valent Biosciences, Tent worm infestations generally last for up to three consecutive years & can cause severe defoliation.
If you’re wondering whether or not you should get rid of tent worms, know you know that you absolutely should, and in this article, we’ll find out how.
Why Bother About Tent worms?
As we’ve mentioned, the main reason you should get rid of tent worms is not that they’re ugly but because they can damage trees. But what kind of damage can they cause?
Tent worms are responsible for the defoliation of trees. This is because tent worms eat leaves and have no preferences: they eat all kinds of leaves.
They are also quite voracious eaters, so much so that they can cause tree defoliation.
Furthermore, tent worms build their webs on the trees. These webs can become very big and take over trees, accelerating the damage to the tree itself.
If you don’t want your yard to defoliate and then, inevitably, die, you should get rid of those tent worms.
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How to get rid of tent worms?
Let’s move on to discuss how to get rid of tent worms.
1. Pick tent worms from your trees
Tent worms on trees look like thick dust balls attached to branches. They are white or light grey, with brown spots, and you can see tent worms swarming all around them.
One of the easiest methods for getting rid of tent worms is to pick the web from the trees.
You need to pay attention when doing so: tent worms can irritate your skin. If one or worse, some of those worms fall on your head and back, you can end up with an ugly rush.
So, make sure you protect yourself carefully before picking the webs from the trees.
If you’re lucky, this can be definitive, and tent worms won’t appear on the trees for the rest of the season, and maybe forever.
But, if the damage is quite big, that is, if the webs are many, you may have to use the next method.
2. Prune affected branches
If the webs are too big, and if you’ve already tried the above method and the worms are back, you may need to prune the affected branches.
Other than webs, tent worms may have left eggs alongside the branches.
After you’ve taken the web away, new tent worms are born, and they can build more webs and keep damaging your tree.
A more definitive method to get rid of tent worms is to prune branches so that if there are eggs, you certainly remove those too.
3. Use insecticide
An insecticide is a poison that can kill tent worms. Consider this method only the last chance because it is – of course – not environment-friendly.
However, when the choice is between letting your trees die and using the insecticide, you may opt for the second.
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Shefali Jain is a Content Editor & Writer at National Planning Cycles.
After completing her graduation in hospitality, Shefali decided to follow her passion and started writing. Shefali has been writing for two years now and contributes to our website as a skilled editor and content writer with strong research skills. Writing product and service reviews, biographies, and book reviews are some of her key areas, among many others in which she specializes.
The National Planning Cycles is committed to producing high-quality content that follows industry standards. We do this by using primary sources, such as white papers and government data alongside original reporting from reputable publishers that were appropriate for the accuracy of information while still being unbiased. We have an editorial policy that includes verifiable facts with due credit given where applicable.