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Fall Webworms Starting Early this Year (07/30/20)

Larvae of fall webworms (scientific name Hyphantria cunea) have already been seen feeding on leaves of a poplar tree in Emmons County.

Larvae of fall webworms (scientific name Hyphantria cunea) have already been seen feeding on leaves of a poplar tree in Emmons County. These insects feed on a number of deciduous trees and shrubs, making their nests near the ends of branches. They will continue to feed until late summer or early fall, enlarging to size of the nest, adding more leaves as needed.

Generally, the damage done by these insects is aesthetic. If control is desired, first try removing the nests with a stick or pole, or prune out the affected branches and destroy the nests. Chemical control may be effective against young larvae, but nests will need to be opened up to allow the treatments to reach the insects. Acephate, carbaryl, malathion, permethrin, or Bt should be effective. Always read, understand and follow the insecticide label directions.

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Joe Zeleznik

NDSU Extension Forestry Specialist

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