Inchworm Infestation

Save

Although not necessarily harmful in smaller, controlled numbers, infestations of inchworms can cause severe damage to trees, shrubs, and many varieties of vegetable plants. Methods of removal can include traditional chemical insecticides or more natural types of pest control.

Identification

  • Inchworms go by many different names, including cankerworms, spanworms, loopers, and measuring worms. They generally reach one inch in length and are smooth and hairless. The presence of inch worms can be identified by shaking plants lightly to detect the presence of the worm and larvae, or through careful examination of the branches. Infected plants will have noticeable tiny and irregularly shaped holes between the veins.

Destruction

  • Small numbers of inch worms are not destructive to the natural habitat, since many trees and plant life can survive minimal inchworm feeding. When the number of inchworms grows, they can become a destructive pest, often damaging vegetable crops. The inchworm can be particularly destructive once an infestation is present because female moths lay their eggs in both fall and spring cycles.

Types

  • The type of foliage the inchworm feeds upon will depend on its species. Some prefer trees and shrubs. These inchworms cause damage on apple trees, oaks, and sweet gums. Other species of inchworm prefer vegetable gardens, and will feast upon almost any vegetable you plant, including tomatoes, celery, beans, potatoes, cabbage, and radishes.

Prevention

  • The best type of prevention of an inchworm infestation is making sure your lawn or garden is hospital to the inchworm's natural predators. Ground beetles, birds, Trichogramma wasps, yellow jackets, and paper wasps all prey upon the inchworm.

Treatment

  • Treatment with chemical insecticides is not recommended and is generally seen as unnecessary. However, if the infestation is large enough to present significant damage, the landowner may opt to use insecticides. The least damaging insecticides include horticultural oils that can be applied to trees, and Bacillus thuringiensis for vegetable gardens. Oils will smother the worms, and Bacillus thuringiensis will cause the body of the worms to rot, while being harmless to humans. These methods may not work once the inchworm is larger than 1/2 inch. In this case, chemical insecticides may be needed to control the infestation.

References

  • Photo Credit vegetables image by cherie from Fotolia.com
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • Inchworm Life Cycle

    The thousands of moth species in the family Geometridae are often referred to as inchworms when in the caterpillar stage. "Inchworm" comes...

  • Inchworm Habitat

    The term inchworm refers to the larval stage of moths belonging to the Geometridae family. Inchworms are not worms, so to speak....

  • Inchworm Identification

    Inchworms got their name because their average size is about an inch. Because of its name, it is often assumed that an...

  • Inchworm Information

    While many varieties of inchworm go by the name “caterpillar,” the term “inchworm” applies to a larvae of the moth family Geometridae,...

  • How to Take Care of Inchworms

    Both children and adults will enjoy caring for inchworms, watching them build their chrysalis and then emerge as a moth. Inchworms are...

  • How to Get Rid of an Inchworm Infestation

    Inchworms, also commonly referred to as cankerworms or loopers, are the larvae of geometrid moths. They get their common inchworm name because...

  • Worms in Blueberries

    Blueberries are delicious and nutritious. They grow easily in home gardens and orchards. Planting and cultivating instructions are included with most plants,...

  • What Type of Leaf Does an Inchworm Eat?

    Inchworms are the larvae of moths of the family Geometridae. This group is particularly large, with more than 1,200 species found in...

  • How to Do Bear Crawl Exercises

    The bear crawl is a great total body exercise for strength training and improving body control. Learn how to properly do bear...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!