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Webworm Populations Explode Throughout the Four States - KOAM TV 7

Webworm Populations Explode Throughout the Four States

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CARL JUNCTION, MISSOURI -

Creepy crawlers are taking over the Four States.

"I didn't want that in my yard. They're so ugly. They're everywhere,” says Briarbrook resident Betty Wood.

They're called webworms. And their big webs are overwhelming residents like Briarbrook resident Betty Woods who wants them gone.

"They just eat the leaves in the tree and they just look so awful. And if you don't do something about them, they'll infest the entire tree."

The webs usually appear at the end of summer, but this year their population is exploding.

Southwest Missouri arborist Gregg Wilkerson says he's not sure exactly why, but it may have to do with all the wet weather we had in the spring when the moths were laying their eggs.

"Actually the last two weeks we've had probably five, six times as many calls on the webworms than we normally do. and seems like…there's probably five or six times more webworms than this time a year,” Wilkerson says.

Experts say the webworm really poses no immediate danger to the tree, since most of these leaves will end up dropping off come fall.

Wilkerson says "The challenge that you face is that the worms do provide food for birds and other animals, so that's something to consider, considering if you can put up with the ugliness of the webs. Otherwise, they don't normally kill the trees."

But for residents like Betty, getting rid of them is the only way to go.

You can call a specialist like Wilkerson who will inject insecticide into the base of the tree to kill the pests, or you can do it yourself.

"You can eliminate the worms…that would be just to reach up and cut the bag, just tip off the end of it. Just make sure when you do trim it off so that you don't throw it down on the ground, that you put it away in a bag or burn it or get rid of it in some way."

For Betty, it's piece of mind the worms won't come crawling back again next year.

I appreciate all you do for my trees,” she thanks Wilkerson.

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