Good vs. bad
There are 2 very different situations when you have webbing on your trees. The good kind and the bad. The good kind of situation involves the web or silk being only on the trunk and branches created by Barklice, a harmless, beneficial insect that will clean your trees. The second type (bad) is when the web or silk covers the leaves and creates a “tent”. This is usually the larvae of a moth that are eating the leaves. Recognizing the difference is important to controlling the bad one and protecting the good one.
Luckily for us…
The good people at Texas A & M and Texas Master Gardeners have done a great job of taking pictures of and supplying us with all the info we need to tell the difference. No offense meant to the Harris County Master Gardeners web site … but I find that the Galveston County Master Gardeners site is easier to navigate and they have superb pictures. Learn all about Barklice at https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-21_barklice.htm then read about Tent caterpillars at https://insects.tamu.edu/extension/publications/epubs/e-218.cfm
If in doubt, call us out!
If at first, you can’t identify a critter, don’t go spraying pesticides willy nilly to kill it. Knowing what you’re dealing with can make all the difference to your yard’s general well-being. The “kill it first, then identify it” method of pest management is the single worst way to deal with bugs. For every bad bug out there, there is a good bug or organism, trying to hunt it down. Mother Nature loves balance. We, in our pursuit of lush, green, irrigated yards, disturb the balance beyond what we can full understand at this time (and yes, I do it too). We are always available to do house calls, answer emails and up for your visit to the nursery. If you are coming into the nursery with a specimen, please put it into a sealed jar or zip lock bag.
This weeks mantra:
Barklice are our friends! I will protect them by informing my neighbors and friends that a very cool thing is happening in my yard. If anyone says otherwise, I will calmly smack them on the forehead with my trowel until they come to their senses.