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Web Worms Return - KOAM TV 7

Web Worms Return

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Those aren't spiders making your tree look like an early Halloween decoration. They're web worms. To get rid of them, you can simply use a broom or a stick to rip open the webs for predators to get to the worms. You can also remove the web from a branch, or cut the branch off altogether.

Joplin City Arborist Mike McDaniel tells us last year's infestation was the worst in a decade. He's asking folks to use less evasive measures to get rid of the pests this season.

"A common thing that people do is reach up there and literally set the bags on fire. which I would strongly discourage," McDaniel said. "The damage that you're doing by that fire and burning those branches is actually way worse than what the worm is doing. So if you really feel the need to set them on fire then prune the limb out that's infested, get it on the ground and set it on fire down there."

It's also a good idea to address the web worms now, before infestation spreads. 

"So typically in this area there's two generations of fall web worm," McDaniel said. "So if you can hit that first generation, every nest that you destroy will just have that much more of a magnification affect on not seeing the next generation as we go on."

McDaniel is also asking residents to avoid spraying pesticides on infested trees. The webs tend to protect the worms but kill their natural predators.

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