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Tree Talk - Metropolitan Forestry Services

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January 15, 2020

Fall Webworms

Life Cycle of the Fall Webworm (Hyphantria cunea)

  • Late Spring or early summer, masses of eggs are laid on the underside of leaves.
  • Once hatched, the larvae form colonies and spin large web tents or “nests” that surround the colony.
  • They continue to feed inside the web and grow.
  • After the larvae have shed their second to last molt, they exit the web tent.
  • They then find a place to form a cocoon and pupate into an adult.
  • Adults are moths that appear either purely white or white with black speckles.

Although aesthetically unappealing, webworms rarely cause harm to an otherwise healthy host tree or shrub. The webs are easily removable, just cut the branch tip back and dispose of the web.

Wings often are pure white but may be marked with few to many small brown to black spots, as seen in this recently emerged female.
Adult female laying eggs
Web enclosing foliage
Web enclosing foliage
larvae enclosed in webbing on cherry

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