White Worms on Shrubs

Asked July 25, 2017, 2:02 PM EDT

I noticed when glancing out the window that the leaves on our dogwood shrub were looking thin. Outside I go to see it almost totally gone with white worms EVERYWHERE! The worms were also just starting to land on surrounding bushes. If they get to my climbing hydrangea I will be so sad!!! Pls let me know if you need a close up of the worm/caterpillar.

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

This looks like damage by the dogwood sawfly. They are usually an occasional pest and it is possible you may not see them next year.
There is one generation a year and they are walking around looking for a place to pupate. They will not harm other plants. No control is necessary.

There should be enough nutrients stored in the root system to put out new growth next season. Next year monitor and handpick when infestations are small. If the infestation is large and the larvae is under an inch you can spray with horticultural oil. Follow label directions. See our dogwood publication for more information