Tips For Controlling Inchworms in Your Garden
It would be real tough task to spray entire trees. Once affected the large trees are likely to recover quickly on their own. On the other hand, you should focus treating newly planted, young or fruit trees to avoid yield losses.
One very effective treatment is to wrap trunks with sticky band early in the year, to trap the crawling adult females and the adult male visitors.
For trunk spray you should use a 2% to 3% dormant horticultural oil as it is quite effective on the eggs. But you must be cautious while spraying on the trees that are not dormant (active) as it may cause injury. Always read the label for application rates and times.
The biological control Bt, Bacillus thuringiensis, is also effective. Again, timing is important. Bt sprays work well if applied soon after egg hatch when the larvae are small.
Conventional pesticides are also available for use in controlling inchworms in your garden. Always check the label to make sure caterpillar pests and the target plants are listed.
Once populations are high and trees have been defoliated, chemicals are not that effective. Remember, trees do put out more leaves, and a lot of time control is not necessary.
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