Webworms, bees and scab cause problems

  • Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013 12:17 a.m.
This form of clematis produces white flowers but can be invasive if not controlled.
This form of clematis produces white flowers but can be invasive if not controlled.

SALISBURY — Record cool temperatures in August requiring a sweater at the Woodleaf Tomato Festival are indeed a rarity. Many are bewildered as what is next. Even with extremes in both temperatures and rainfall, many still have questions. Below are sample of questions received over the past few weeks.

Question: I have bagworms in one of my trees in the front yard. What can I do to eliminate them and keep them from defoliating my tree?

Answer: The insects you’re speaking of are not really bagworms, but fall webworms. They are immature insects that make a large web and generally do not kill trees. Insects can be controlled by knocking the nests down or exposing the worms to birds and other natural predators that will control them without insecticides. Go to http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/trees/note46/note46.html for more detailed information on controlling the fall pests.

Question: I have bees that are continuously harassing my hummingbirds at their feeder. Is there anything I can do to get rid of these insects?

Answer: There is no easy answer with this problem. Dripping feeders attract yellow jackets and other bees. You may want to purchase feeders that feature a basin and don’t easily drip. Also, moving the feeders around the yard will often confuse the bees for a few days.

Question: I have this vine that has grown over the past summer on my deck. I kept it and now it is blooming with this really pretty white bloom. What is the plant and how do I take care of it?

Clematis paniculata or Sweet Autumn clematis. It is a wild vine related to the cultivated clematis that blooms in the spring. Many gardeners grow it as a late summer and early fall blooming vine. However, it can be very aggressive. There are dwarf and less invasive cultivars available at garden centers. Go to http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/vines/clematis_paniculata.html for more detailed information about the vine.

Question: The nuts on my pecan trees are have black spots on the green husks. What is this and how can I prevent this in the future?

Answer: Pecan scab is a major disease in our area. It is caused by a fungus that attacks both the leaves and the shuck. Application of fungicidal sprays to control this disease is not practical for homeowners because of the size and scope of mature pecan trees.

Medicine drop-off and pesticide pickup

Rowan County will host special waste recycling day on Wednesday, Oct. 2, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Take recyclables and pesticides to the Recycling Processing Center located at 1102 N. Long St. Ext., East Spencer. Pesticides are collected through the NCDA Pesticide Disposal Assistance Program. Contact the Rowan County Department of Environmental Management at 704-638-3045 for information on large quantities of any material or questions concerning this event.

Acceptable items include:

Pesticides and pesticide containers

Auto/truck batteries

Prescription medicines


Scrap metal

Styrofoam peanuts

Rechargeable batteries

Cell phones


Hearing aids

Toner cartridges

Computers, monitors, hard drives and laptops

Helium, oxygen, propane tanks

Paint (limit 10 gallons/household)


Washers, dryers, refrigerators

Darrell Blackwelder is the county Extension director with horticulture responsibilities with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Call 704-216-8970.

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