Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > April 2014 > GARDEN TALK with DOUG - INCHING TIME


Now that our trees are leafing out the Fall Canker Worm is about ready to play havoc with the trees leaves.  Our native insect, the Fall Canker Worm is getting ready for action.  Are you ready to respond? 

                Early spring when our trees begin to leaf out is when the Inch worm hatches from eggs into eating larvae.  Hundreds and thousands of inch worms will be in one tree chomping on the new spring leaves of our trees.  It seems that our Oaks and Maples are the most vulnerable trees.  Once the tree is striped you will experience these inch worms dangling from silk threads and blowing in the wind.  This allows the worm to move on to another tree.

                Although the Inch worm present no health problems to the public, we do get stressed out seeing our trees be defoliated and the gross excrement that falls on our cars, decks, and walkways.  The good news is that our beloved trees that are attacked and defoliated will recover and produce new leaves by summer.

                To be honest it is hard for a homeowner to spray large trees and control the Fall Canker Worm.  If your tree is small enough, you may want to spray with a B. T. (Bacillus Thringiensis) product, such as Dipel that is a natural bacteria for control.

                Right now is the time to inspect your trees for these small, crawling worms.  If detected, then spray with a B. T. product.  Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and spray according to instructions.

                One positive thought to keep in mind is that a natural predator of the Fall Canker worm is our beloved birds.

                The best time to control the Fall Canker Worm is in September when the moth emerges out of the soil.  You want to keep the wingless female moth from crawling up into the trees, mating with the male moth, and laying her eggs on the small branches of the trees.  Look into a product called Tanglefoot this September.  Tanglefoot is a sticky substance that you smear on burlap and wrap around  the trunk of trees.  Your mission is to stop the female moth from getting up into the trees and thus dramatically reducing the damage done to your trees in the spring.

Posted: 4/18/2014 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: DougHensel, GardenTalkWithDoug
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