Fall Webworm

a Fall Webworm caterpillar
Fall Webworm (these caterpillars build communal nests but they are not considered to harm otherwise healthy trees) (7/26/2012; Deblois, Maine)

The Fall Webworm (Hyphantria cunea), is a type of moth larva in the family Arctiidae which makes a communal webbed nest in the limbs of a wide variety of hardwood trees such as apple, cherry, ash, willow, oak, birch, elm, and other deciduous species in the late summer and fall.  Not to be confused with the more destructive Eastern Tent Caterpillar, or the dreaded Browntail caterpillars, the Fall Webworm is more of an aesthetic pest with regards to the nests and the larvae are not believed to harm otherwise healthy ‘wild’ trees because the bulk of the leaf consumption occurs just prior to the natural leaf drop by the trees.  However, the feeding by the caterpillars can be damaging to ornamental trees.


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