"Something" is on our Pecan Trees!

ThlorianJuly 31, 2014

Hello - Newbie here. Our neighbor pointed out to us some strange things that are on our trees. He said they may be bag worms forming? Can someone here PLEASE identify what these are and how to get rid of them via a pesticide? Thanks VERY MUCH!

Al in Texas

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Here is another picture . . . thanks!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:20PM
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I can't see them that well, but I suspect you're not talking about true 'bagworms' (such as prey on arborvitae & some other plants; google them), but rather a different kind of beast...tent caterpillars. Try googling them and see whether that's what you're seeing.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:10PM
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Yeah, i think they are tent catipilars.
I had some on a small tree and they made cacoons all over it! A coworker came and cut it down.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:39PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Probably Walnut Caterpillars. (treatment link below)


Here is a link that might be useful: Walnut Caterpillar - Kansas State University

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 7:42AM
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What Dax said, if you can find Bt (baccilus Thuring??) Not clear on the right spelling. It will target the worms only. If you can't find it Sevin will work, but will kill good bugs too. If need be, try to only apply where the wormies are. That is what I would do anyway. Then hopefully the worms will congregate and the seven or baccillus sprayed worms will contaminate the ones not sprayed.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:03PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Poaky. The caterpillars have to ingest (eat) the Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis Kurstaki). It must be sprayed on foliage not on the caterpillar.

Yes, these appear to be walnut caterpillars; they have come down from feeding on the foliage to gather on the trunk in order to molt. They'll return to the canopy for more feeding. Right NOW is the perfect time to kill a bunch of caterpillars.

If I had a mass of caterpillars on the trunk of my tree, I'd spray with insecticidal soap. Caterpillars are vulnerable to a very wide range of predators and parasitoids....using Sevin is not a good thing for that reason. Insecticidal soap will do the job, without harming anything that may come by to dine.

The problem with using Bt-K now is that the caterpillars are more mature and Bt is most effective when the insects are very young.
More importantly, few homeowners have the kind of spray equipment required to get Bt up into the canopy of a large tree.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 11:25AM
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Rhizo, what if you have a tall tree, and can't reach the leaves/ needles? Well, I guess you are screwed then. Maybe if you can use a sprayer that can reach the foliage, you can do it. Last summer there were catapillars on my Q. Robur, and it was near fall. They really ripped into this one tree and I swear I remember it being nearly fall, because I just let them eat it because it was so close to fall, I figured it didn't matter the leaves were going to fall, and with no fall color anyway on the Q. Robur. When I used the Bt, they got it in their mouths and airways most likely, I dosed them good. If they were still tent catapillars and bagworms in appearance, are you sure they would'nt be affected?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 8:26PM
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