Getting Rid of Tent Worms

Written by Amy Gordon (last updated March 5, 2021)

One of the most disgusting things that grow in your trees may be tent worms. Tent worms (or tent caterpillars) are little furry insects that swarm all over your tree, eating the leaves and killing the growth on your tree for that year. Even though they are usually only around for a couple of weeks before they turn into moths and take off from your tree, they are very unsightly while they are there, and can cause a lot of damage.

Tent worms have many natural predators, which grow in population as the tent worms grow. Over time, the predators will kill off most of the tent worms. Unfortunately, the predators will start to die off after the tent worms die off, which will lead to an explosion of population of tent worms again. If you let nature go its course, the tent worms will only be a big problem every few years, but you may want to get rid of them in the meantime.

If you want to kill off tent worms, the easiest option is to use insecticide. The problem with using insecticide is that it can kill other things that you want to be on the tree, including the insects that are needed to pollinate your tree if you have a fruit tree. Insecticides are also dangerous because they can be harmful to people who get near the tree. If you do decide to use insecticides, be very careful, follow the instructions on the label, and apply it in the early morning or late evening when the tent worms are all together.

If you want to use a more natural option to clear off the tent worms, you do have options. Most of these options may not be too enjoyable. Many places where tent worms run wild will have services that will get rid of the tent worms for you. If you do not want to pay the money, you can do a couple of other things, all of which should be done in the early morning or late evening. One option is to squish tent worms in front of the others, which will usually make the rest run off (at least temporarily). Another option is to cut the tent worms and throw them into garbage bags. Both of these methods are labor intensive and a little disgusting, but it will get rid of the tent worms for that year and save your tree from being a snack for these insects.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...


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