• 59°

Darrell Blackwelder column: Fall webworms are making their presence known

In late summer, shade trees throughout the county are often covered with large, light gray, silken webs. Fall webworms enclose leaves and small branches in their nests, making trees around the county look ugly. Fall webworm larvae feed on over 85 species of trees in our area including pecan, walnut, American elm, hickory, persimmon and fruit trees.

This pest begins its feeding in late summer, concentrating its nests to limited areas. Because of this, little real damage is done to most trees.

Fall webworms

This pest over-winters in the pupae stage in the ground but can be located in old nest remains, under loose bark and in fallen leaves. The adults emerge from late May into July, laying eggs. Eggs hatch into hungry larvae, feeding for about six weeks, at which time they drop to the ground to pupate. Two or more generations may occur during the summer.

The nest of sticky material is nature’s way of protecting the vulnerable larvae. Pesticide sprays cannot effectively penetrate large nests. Control of the pest is best done by physically removing the nest. Small nests can be pruned out of small to medium trees. These small nests can be easily destroyed with a stick or cane pole. Do not burn or torch the nests in trees. This causes additional damage to the tree and is a hazard.

Parasites and predators will also control fall webworms. Yellow jackets, wasps and hornets as well as birds, predatory stink bugs and parasitic flies are important predators.

Darrell Blackwelder is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at deblackw@ncsu.edu .

Comments

Coronavirus

Rowan Health Department clarifies county’s COVID-19 death total is 301

Landis

Landis approves new land development ordinance, zoning map

Landis

Landis approves body camera, stun gun purchase for public safety officers

Crime

One charged, another dead on sheriff’s most wanted list

Crime

No injuries after car shot eight times on Old Concord Road

Education

RSS talks first steps for new federal relief totaling $66 million

China Grove

Gary’s Barbecue staff, customers look back at 50 years

News

Salisbury Lions Club names Person of the Year, Lion of the Year at 78th annual banquet

Education

Student COVID-19 numbers show first decline since plan A

High School

High school golf: Fowler competes in state tournament

News

Amazon announces new distribution center for North Carolina

News

House passes bill to bar Cooper from mandating COVID shot

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees death 302 from COVID-19; Health Department to host final mass vaccine clinic

Ask Us

Ask Us: What happened to work on South Fulton Street home?

Crime

Blotter: Woman says she was shot in hand on Lincolnton Road

Crime

Rowan Sheriff’s Office charges Salisbury man with operating illegal gambling business

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges

Local

Rep. Amber Baker discusses legislative session during Rowan Democrats breakfast meeting

Local

Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest

News

N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured