Late summer is a time that every gardener dreads. Around this time, loads of spiders start webbing the leaves. These are sometimes surprisingly large, which you don’t really expect from a spider. The branch tips are usually where you start seeing these giant webs.
As a child, it must’ve been fun to strike down all these webs, but as an adult, it is horrifying to see the plant you worked on getting infested by so many spiders.
If you keep on asking yourself the question of why are there so many spider webs in the trees, this article was written specifically for you. Let’s get right to it!
Why Are There So Many Spider Webs In The Trees
Most of the gardeners you might come across all hate spiders in their trees. They don’t even cause any long-term damage to the trees. The webs are just annoying to look at. The pests eat leaves, with their nests being concentrated in the same area.
Due to them huddling up, there isn’t any real damage which is done to the trees. However, the nests only look very ugly, and if the pests start breeding there, that causes a problem. Some usual pests are the fall webworms and spiders.
The fall webworm has two generations every year, and they feed on several shade trees. IN the winters, they plant their cocoons in shaded areas. The adult moth actually has the capacity to lay thousands of eggs on the lower surface of the leaves around June.
Usually, the eggs that they lay are concentrated in the areas near the branches’ tips. The time that the eggs need to hatch is a week, and they feed themselves by skeletonizing. Their protective mechanism against predators is that they keep themselves covered in several layerings of webs.
These caterpillars make cocoons in these webs around mid-summer. Soon after, a new generation of pests comes from these cocoons. These, in turn, lay more eggs in the trees. This is a long and repetitive process that leaves the infested trees full of webs.
If you keep asking yourself the question of why are there so many spider webs in the tree, the answer just might be fall webworms.
This is an insect native to the areas around North America. These originate from Ohio, and all of America sees outbreaks throughout the year. If you have a garden and plant avidly, there is a good chance that you’ve come across these annoying creatures.
Webworms feed on a lot of different species of trees. They usually nibble away at the leaves and leave their eggs on their underside. Some trees, in particular, are more aggressively attacked.
More usually, it is these fall webworms that are actually making all those webs in your trees, not spiders. They have the ability to weave a thick web which they do as a part of their protective mechanism from predators that feed on them.
Their most usual target is a fruit tree of some sort. They much on these with the most aggression. Especially black cherry trees. Something about the leaves of this tree is really appealing for these bugs, and they love to stay near them.
Fall webworms usually only attack trees in the fall; however, they’re there all the time. In winters specifically, they lay their eggs which hatch around spring. These newly laid caterpillars will start feeding on the leaves of the tree next as they try to bring your tree down.
Mostly, the most insect activity you’ll notice near your tree is during mid-summer. Unfortunately, by this time, all the caterpillars have turned into moths and are now much more sinister than before.
These bugs are just hard on the eyes. The tree looks disgusting with so many webs on it, which is usually the gardener’s only concern. These don’t really damage the tree and are not poisonous.
However, if the tree is relatively younger, these will feed on them and can cause a potentially complete leaf loss before your tree starts withering away. The trees are fed on before they have a chance to grow and reach their full potential. `
The first thing you would want to do is to take a broom and start removing these webs one by one from your trees. This will improve the overall look of the tree, and it will start looking much less disgusting now.
Moving these webs will also mean that you have removed the cocoons of the insects. Unfortunately, this will leave them homeless, and they will think that a predator is attacking the tree. They will then mark the territory as unsafe and will slowly start moving elsewhere if you’re persistent enough.
However, that doesn’t guarantee that they won’t return in the summers. During summertime, they might lay eggs on your tree again, which will cause them to return to the trees. Your only bet is to thoroughly remove the webs from the tree to the extent that nothing more is left on the tree.
To get rid of the worms for good, you can prune the webbed branch and just separate the branches which are infested. Alternatively, you can use good insecticide as well. However, do keep in mind that you will need to choose something that is not toxic for humans if the tree is a fruit tree.
You can also remove the eggs of the webworms. These look like small black bumps on the branches of the tree. If the eggs still hatch in early spring, you can try applying an insecticide to the tree.
Webs can be very annoying if they start appearing on your tree. Therefore, you should be on the lookout and start clearing these webs as soon as they start appearing. That’s the best way to get rid of them with no damage caused.
I hope this article answers your question of why are there so many spider webs in the tree.
Best of luck!