Those Giant ‘Webs’ You Might See on KY Trees? Those Aren’t Spiders
The arrival of fall often means the arrival of spiders into your home. How much fun, right? I walked out the door this morning and right into a strand of spider silk. After doing the "spider dance" and getting it out of my face, I went to work. Hello, eight-legged friends.
While I don't like walking through spider webs, I'm not very concerned when I see one. The large ones to which I'm referring are usually those big garden spiders which can give you pause, certainly, but are harmless.
What Lives in Those Giant Tree Webs?
But not every large web or web-like structure, for lack of a better word, is the result of a spider doing his thing. In fact, I doubt you could SEE one of those garden spider webs from the same distance you could see something like this:
Yes, lovely and talented fall webworms bring their wonderful seasonal tree decorations into our lives this time of the year. But no, they're HARDLY lovely even if you consider all that a talent. (I guess you could.) Actually, these little critters are a menace. I'm not sure if this is what destroyed the apple trees we had in our backyard at the old house back in the day, but they certainly look like it. The always-reliable team at the University of Kentucky Entomology Department indicates that might not be what they were since the trees listed by them as favorites of the webworm--or tent caterpillar (that name totally makes sense)--don't include apple trees.
The fall webworm is a pest that is distributed throughout most of the United States and Canada. It will feed on almost all shade, fruit and ornamental trees except for evergreens. In Kentucky some of the preferred trees include American elm, maples, hickory, and sweetgum.
How to Handle Your Fall Webworm Issue
See? Those are some beautiful trees to which these caterpillars can lay waste, so you probably want to get a handle on them if you have them.
A nuisance all across most of North America throughout autumn's early months, webworms, as you saw, do not require the destruction of the tree to which they've attached themselves. Thanks heavens, right? (We got rid of our apple trees after the infestation; so maybe that DOES confirm we weren't dealing with these things.)
Fall Webworms Don't Stay Caterpillars Forever
By the way, here's what those caterpillars become (I advise muting and reading the following presentation):
@witchmossx Shes a fall webworm moth. 🖤🌙🐛 #witchtok #moth #cutecutebaby #fallwebworm ♬ original sound - witchmossx
So if you're terrified of spiders and you've seen one of these things, don't panic. They're merely fall webworms or tent caterpillars doing their thing. No, their "thing" isn't the best news for your trees, but it's great news for arachnophobes.