beautiful bug eating nectar Friend or Foe?

Asked October 30, 2019, 9:52 PM EDT

Can you identify this insect? Found several in my Severna Park succulent garden.

Anne Arundel County Maryland wildlife ailanthus ailanthus webworm moth tree moth on sedum

1 Response

This is the moth stage of the ailanthus webworm. Since ailanthus is an invasive tree, it's not bad to have this webworm feeding on it. Especially since ailanthus (tree of heaven) is suspected to be an essential host of the newest invasive insect, the spotted lanternfly (coming in from PA). If you have any tree of heaven nearby, you might want to get rid of it quickly. However, it's very important to kill it right, otherwise it comes back many times over.

Here's our page on lanternfly: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/spotted-lanternfly

Here's a good page on how to get rid of ailanthus correctly: https://www.invasive.org/weedcd/pdfs/wgw/treeofheaven.pdf

Ellen