How to prevent bad webworm problem
I had a horrible issue with webworms this year, totally engulfed several of my walnut trees. I cut all lower branches that I could reach when I first noticed webs but then they appeared much higher in tree and then just took off. Is there something I can do earlier in the year to prevent web worms from getting in trees? The amount of worms is just overwhelming.
Oklahoma County Oklahoma
Thank you for your timely question. Fall webworms are having a bountiful year and are seen in most nut trees in our area. Pecans are particularly heavily infested.
The good news is that fall webworm infestation is more of an eyesore for the homeowner than a threat to the trees health. An otherwise healthy tree should do well, even with severe defoliation.
Webworm infestations goes in yearly cycles related to weather and activity of the predators which feed on them.
Control with an insecticide is somewhat difficult due to the density of webs and their location in taller mature trees. OSU has a good description of the problem and suggestions for control. This was published in 2007, another year of heavy webworm infestation.
I hope this is of help to you.