alpine flowers at Grey Rock

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fall Webworm

The first time I noticed any amount of Fall Webworms was last year. This year, every madrone tree has at least one group of these on it. The Fall Webworm might be called a tent caterpillar, but it is truly Malacosoma disstria. The difference is that the webworm forms its nests at the tips of branches whereas the tent worm forms them in the crotches. They can be controlled by pruning or spraying the pathogen BT. How you are supposed to spray the tip of a branch 40 feet up is still open for discussion. There is a parasitic moth and fly that can do some damge, so I will hope my little ecosystem is produceing what it take. Although the caterpillars defoliate where they live, they seldom kill the tree. What if there were enough of them? Baltimore Orioles are hard on them, so I suppose the rest of that insect family would be. I have noticed an influx of Flickers lately...

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