Web Worms…

I always thought those bags we got in our trees, full of pale worms, were called bag worms but it turns out those are the ones that look like upside down pine cones on the coniferous trees.

I looked them up because our pecans this year have them and I wanted to know how to control these unattractive parasites.  The worms wriggling around in what looks like spider silk are called Fall Webworms.

Sounds like a computer virus to me!

I read about them and discovered that unlike the bagworms these particular creepy crawlies aren’t harmful to the tree.  They de-foliate them, yes, but come Autumn the trees shed all their leaves and the worms are gone.

They do not necessarily return year after year.

This was news to me as I always thought they were a disease and once present were hard to impossible to get rid of.

I was mis-informed.

Apparently they are termed an ‘aesthetic pest.‘  Harmless to the host tree and not at all pretty on the eye.

This year there are a lot of them along the by-ways.  If they looked more like Spanish moss I wouldn’t mind but because of the negative connotations I have planted in my mind they bespeak disease and death to me.

Looking from the Pavillion this morning I have an infestation of webworms.


They are ruining the pleasing appearance of my tall, graceful trees that rise to great heights.

Because I am the self-proclaimed arborist at Footlights I took it upon myself to get rid of this aesthetic pest.  At least those I could reach.

Hubs has a device that allows me to extend my arm, Twizzle-Like, and snip off a branch.  (Twizzle was a puppet I grew up with on British television; he could extend his arms and legs, making a distinctive squeaky noise, when he needed to be taller or reach further.)

Armed with my twizzler I went to do war on the webworms,


and soon had a passel of them lying at my feet.


As I was craning to see where I could hook my cutting tool I could feel debris sprinkling my upturned face and shuddered.  They were sticky and when they fell towards me I had to move quickly to avoid being smothered by the web or worse, the whole bag bursting and splattering my face with hundreds of little worms.


When I finished I gathered them up and threw them close to the creek where perhaps the birds would take advantage of the damaged sac and feast…

…worm with a heart… Mmmm.

I worked hard that morning and made my 10,000 steps by 9 a.m!


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