UGA Extension Office

Agriculture & Natural Resources

Web-wormsFall webworms build unsightly webs that fill tree tops in the fall of the year. To control them, cut down the webs and destroy them.

Control fall webworms and rid trees of webs

By William G. Tyson for CAES News

Are you noticing webs in some of the trees throughout your landscape? I always get multiple calls during the late summer and early fall about webs in trees and worms crawling on everything. The fall webworm is the pest weaving these problems.

Two types of caterpillars make webs in trees – Eastern tent caterpillars and fall webworms. The Eastern tent caterpillar is more of a problem in the spring, and the fall webworm is more of an issue in the late summer/early fall.

Native to North America, fall webworms can produce from one to four generations per year. Webworms enclose small branches and leaves in their light gray colored webs. It’s not considered a major economic pest in forestry, but it can heavily defoliate shade trees and ornamentals. Its webs are unsightly, and constant infestations of individual trees will cause limb and branch diebacks.

The fall webworm feeds on more than 100 species of trees and ornamentals. Pecan, oak and fruit trees are their preferred hosts in our area.

Adult moths appear from May through August and deposit their eggs in hair-covered masses on the underside of leaves. The larvae are a pale yellowish-green with a dusky strip down the back and a yellow stripe down each side.

As the worms mature, they become covered with long gray hairs. Their head color varies from red to black. The newly hatched larvae spin a web over the foliage on which they feed for protection against predators. On heavily infested trees, webs may be found on several branches. The webs they build in trees stay around long after the worms leave.

Webs in trees stick out like a sore thumb, but damage to most trees is usually insignificant.

The best control method is to cut the web out of the tree, with the worms in it, and destroy it. Several chemicals will control webworms but may not be practical due to problems related to applications in larger trees. If you do spray to control the caterpillars, it is best to get good coverage, spraying the insecticide inside the webs to kill the pests.

The following link provides more information on fall webworm management:




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Below are some of UGA Extension's most broadly useful resources for those involved in agriculture on the farm, in schools, and around the home.

Production Agriculture:
Statewide Variety Testing
Statewide Variety Testing Which varieties should you plant? The variety testing team does the work and research for farmers.
UGA Weather Network
UGA Weather Network Reliable weather information for agricultural and environmental applications, including soil temperature, rainfall, wind speed, and more.
Pesticide Safety Education
Pesticide Safety Education Everything you need to achieve certification and maintain the knowledge to safely and effectively make use of restricted-use and all other types of pesticides.
Sustainable Agriculture A collection of resources for those interested in production and marketing practices that are profitable, environmentally sound, and that improve the quality of life for farmers, farm workers, and the community.
Ag Budgets and Economics Resources for production economics, farm management, marketing, situation and outlook, risk management, financial management, farm policy, labor, and taxation.
Farmgate Value Report
Farmgate Value Report Annual county-level reports documenting the value of all food and fiber commodities grown in the state.
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Home & Garden:
Soil Testing
Soil Testing Ensure that your soil is productive! Get your soil tested to determine the amount and kind of nutrients that should be added for the best growth.
Pest Management
Pest Management Recommendations for pest control around homes, on pets, in the home garden, and more.
Household Water Quality
Household Water Quality Water quality has an immediate and a prolonged effect on the health of your household. This publication series contains basic information about home water quality and treatment.
Home Garden Publication Series
Home Garden Publication Series Topics include garden planning, soil preparation, weed control, pollination, disease and insect control, harvesting, and preserving.
Georgia Green Industry Professional Development The UGA Center for Urban Agriculture offers professional training and certifications for the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional, Georgia Certified Plant Professional exam and Super Crew employee training series.
Soil Testing
Georgia Green Landscape Stewards The Georgia Green Landscape Stewards program provides fact-based information to help businesses and residences in Georgia implement sustainable green practices in their landscape.
Community and School Gardens This Community and School Gardens blog is designed to help community and school gardeners succeed by connecting them to UGA Extension and other research-based resources.
Lesson Plans and Teacher Resources Whether you'd like to help protect the environment, teach your students how to avoid chronic diseases with healthy food and physical activity, or train food handlers in your cafeteria, University of Georgia Extension can help.
Extension Publications
  • Vegetable Garden Calendar (C 943) The recommendations in this circular are based on long-term average dates of the last killing frost in the spring and first killing frost in the fall. Every year does not conform to the "average," so you should use your own judgment about advancing or delaying the time for each job, depending on weather conditions.
  • Native Plants for Georgia Part I: Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines (B 987) This publication focuses on native trees, shrubs and woody vines for Georgia. It is not our intent to describe all native species — just those available in the nursery trade and those that the authors feel have potential for nursery production and landscape use. Rare or endangered species are not described. Information on each plant is provided according to the following categories: Common Name(s)/Botanical Name/Family, Characteristics, Landscape Uses, Size, Zones and Habitat.
  • Conversion Tables, Formulas and Suggested Guidelines for Horticultural Use (B 931) Pesticide and fertilizer recommendations are often made on a pounds per acre and tons per acre basis. While these may be applicable to field production of many crops, orchardists, nurserymen and greenhouse operators often must convert these recommendations to smaller areas, such as row feet, square feet, or even per tree or per pot. Thus pints, cups, ounces, tablespoons and teaspoons are the common units of measure. The conversion is frequently complicated by metric units of measure. This publication is designed to aid growers in making these calculations and conversions, and also provides other data useful in the management, planning and operation of horticultural enterprises.
View other publications on Fruit, Vegetable & Ornamental Production View other publications on Turfgrass View other publications on Weeds, Diseases & Pests