There are two types of pests that we are mistaken for each other, that is the webworm and the eastern tent caterpillar. However, there are a few key distinctions that set them apart. The difference between the two is that eastern tent caterpillars are sometimes referred to as spring webworms because they spin their webs and do their feeding during springtime. Fall webworms, on the other hand, feed on trees during the fall season. Fall webworms have very thin, loosely woven webs; almost like tulle. Eastern tent caterpillar webs have a much more thick, cottony texture.


Giving you a slight description of the two could help you what the best thing to do if you can spot it right on your trees. Additionally, you’ll be able to address your problem properly with any tree service Valdosta GA and will help you get rid of it.


These caterpillars prefer to east on these different types of trees as listed below. Fall webworms feed on more than 100 tree species, but the most common targets are:


Fall Webworms


  • Wild Cherry
  • Pecan
  • Black Walnut
  • Persimmon
  • Mulberry
  • Sweetgum
  • Oak
  • Hickory
  • Pecan


Eastern Tent Caterpillar


  • Wild Cherry
  • Apple
  • Crabapple
  • Ash
  • Maple


But how do you get rid of webworms or the eastern tent caterpillars?


It’s worth noting that these pests typically don’t cause much harm to trees. At most, trees will lose a chunk of leaves, but they won’t experience any other side effects. That said, if you want to get rid of big webs in trees just because they look unpleasant, here’s what to do:


Remove the webs by hand and drop them into a bucket of soapy water. Make sure the caterpillars are inside the web too. If you do not want to touch the web, wrap it around a broomstick or rake. For your safety, we do not recommend climbing the tree to get those hard to reach webs. Please call your local arborist for help.

Want to get ahead of other tree problems? Here are common tree pests to look out for this spring.


Prevent Webworms or Eastern Tent Caterpillars


The best way to prevent these pests from spinning their webs? Beat them to the punch. For tent caterpillar control, check to see if the insect laid eggs in winter. They look like shiny, reddish-brown bulbs on tree branches. You can try to scrape them off, and if that doesn’t work, prune off the branches. Do the same for fall webworm eggs in summer. The egg masses are discreet green clumps on the bottom of tree leaves.