How to Kill Caterpillar Nests


A variety of different caterpillars spin silky, tent-like nests on trees. Depending on your location, local caterpillars may feed primarily on pine trees or flowering fruit trees. Nest-building caterpillars feed on tree leaves or needles early in the spring season, causing severe aesthetic damage. If defoliation persists over three years or more, the caterpillar damage can weaken the tree. Burning caterpillar nests, though a popular method of control, can damage tree limbs or start a fire. Though home gardeners cannot kill the nests per se, they can remove the nests with safe mechanical methods and exterminate any caterpillars inside.

Things You'll Need

  • Butter knife
  • Bucket
  • Liquid soap
  • Work gloves
  • Look for egg masses on tree twigs in fall, winter and early in spring.These masses look like brown or gray foam in a circle around a twig.

  • Scrape the eggs off with a butter knife into a bucket filled with soapy water.

  • Remove the silky, tent-like nests with your hands as soon as you notice them on trees.Wear work gloves, as certain types of caterpillars deliver a painful sting.

  • Drop the nest pieces and caterpillars into a bucket of soapy water to exterminate them.

  • Dispose of the dead caterpillars in the garbage or compost to prevent caterpillar odors in your home or yard.

Related Searches


Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Grow and Harvest Catalpa Worms From Catalpa Trees

    Catalpa trees are ornamental trees that grow naturally near swamps and rivers in the eastern United States. If you find a catalpa...

  • How to Stop Caterpillar Damage

    If caterpillars have infested your trees, don't panic. There are safe ways to deal with the fuzzy critters, and although the appearance...

  • How to Get Rid of Caterpillars in Fruit Trees

    Caterpillars attack and inhabit many trees, including fruit trees, producing webs and eating foliage. A serious infestation will stunt the growth of...

  • How to Kill Caterpillars

    Although they don't look menacing, caterpillars can be extremely destructive in gardens and flowering trees. Caterpillars eat their way through leafy plants,...

  • How to Kill Tree Caterpillars

    Caterpillars are the larval stage of moths and butterflies. Though the adult insects do not inflict serious damage to trees, caterpillars are...

  • How to Kill Black Caterpillars

    Caterpillars are destructive little creatures that feed on leafy vegetation, eating their way through plants and trees. They turn into butterflies that...

  • About the Pine Tree Caterpillar

    There's no insect specifically known as the pine tree caterpillar, but there are certain caterpillar pests that plague pine trees. For instance,...

  • Different Kinds of Fuzzy Caterpillars

    Caterpillars are the larvae of the moths and butterflies that make up the order Lepidoptera, which is the second largest group in...

  • What Are Worm Nests in Trees?

    A tree covered in unsightly web nests can be frustrating. The webs themselves are unattractive, but they also catch dirt and debris...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

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