Little green worms are not the creatures you ideally would want to have on your trees as they feed on the leaves of your plants. And spoiler alert: these green worms hanging from trees is not an uncommon occurrence. But how to get rid of them?
In case you are wondering what these little green worms are, well, they are called Cankerworms.
We are sorry to break it to you, but just because Canker worms are tiny doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the necessary measures to get rid of them.
They can cause depletion of your trees and are very fast to multiply.
So, you must identify these cankerworms as quickly as possible, as it is vital in controlling any damage.
In this extensive guide, you get to know everything about little green worms hanging from trees and how to get rid of them.
What Are Cankerworms?
Often, while walking around in your garden, you can spot these tiny cankerworms hanging from the trees of your garden.
These are also known as inchworms or loopers. Cankerworms are larvae that feed on the leaves of various types of trees like beech, oak, maple, birch, etc.
These pests can cause significant harm to the host tree by causing infections or even possible death of that tree.
Primarily, there are two species of these worms; spring and fall cankerworms.
However, they are somewhat similar, considering their life cycle or food habits. Yet, they are different in a few aspects.
For instance, the adult spring cankerworm generally emerges from its pupa around the month of April and then lays eggs all over the host tree.
Both the spring and fall cankerworms feed on the trees simultaneously and even cause similar damage. So, you can use similar methods to get rid of any of these worms.
How to Get Rid of Cankerworms?
Once you have identified the cankerworms on your trees, it is time you know the various ways by which you can get rid of them, as well as take the necessary precautions for future damages/infections.
- Look for the Eggs
As you already know, the quicker you identify and get rid of these worms, the better. So there is no better time to do that than eradicating the eggs.
You can spot these clusters of eggs on the branches and use a chemical spray to kill them.
This is the most efficient way to ensure that your tree is neither damaged nor infected.
However, you have to take caution when you spray these and take the help of any professional if required.
- Use Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT)
Don’t lose hope if you missed out on getting rid of the eggs. It can be challenging to spot them, especially fall cankerworms, as they don’t lay eggs in clusters.
Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) is the safest and widely popular organic insecticide that can help you get rid of these worms.
Moreover, it has a naturally organic bacteria strain that is completely safe for pets and even beneficial for other garden creatures.
Even if the larvae have emerged and started feeding on the leaves, spraying the BT can help you get rid of the cankerworms.
However, make sure the larvae have not grown too large (not more than 13mm) as there is a good chance of this spray not working.
- Stick it Up
Think of sticky bands as a rat trap. All you need to do is tie these bands around the bark of the tree.
Any adult female cankerworm climbing the tree to lay eggs will be trapped by the sticky substance on the bands.
Once you have trapped all of these cankerworms, you can just leave them in water until they are dead.
The only drawback of these sticky bands is not safeguarding them properly.
You have to make sure there are no gaps through which these female cankerworms can escape.
If you take this precaution, then you can use the bands without any worries.
- Leave it to the Predators.
If you don’t like the idea of killing these cankerworms in unnatural ways, then you can just let nature do the job.
These little green cankerworms have various natural predators that will help the number of these in control.
In addition, unlike other caterpillars, the cankerworm larvae do not have bristles, so it is good food for birds, ants, etc.
If that doesn’t do it, then you can always get parasites that can get rid of these worms. You can get:
- Telenomus Alsophilae
- Euplectrus Ellipses
- Trichogramma Minutum
Moreover, these do not have any ill effects on the trees or pets and can effectively reduce cankerworms.
- Chemical Control
If your tree has been infested severely by the cankerworms, then chemical control is the only way to get rid of them effectively.
These chemical pesticides can help you kill these cankerworms, but you must remember to take safety measures and use them efficiently.
You can get the pesticide from your gardening store. If you want to get rid of cankerworms, then make sure you spray it all over the affected trees.
But, again, you must take help from the professionals as they can do this more effectively without damaging the rest of the plants and animals.
To make sure your tree is healthy and can withstand any infestations of cankerworms in the future, then you must get your tree fertilized.
This will help your tree recover from any chemicals used and keep your trees luscious.
Cankerworms are green worms that feed on various trees and can cause depletion or even death of the host plant.
You must identify these as soon as possible since this will enable you in preventing them.
There are various ways by which you can control the infestation of cankerworms; you can either do it naturally or by applying chemicals.
If the cankerworms have caused severe damages, then it is better to go with chemical pesticides.