spider webs spreading

kellycatFebruary 23, 2014

Hello, I've seen several different kinds of spiders in these webs. From a med/small with sort of a flat brown back to small & very very small spiders. It has me worried because they are spreading throughout my yard/plants/trees.
Does anyone know what these are and why are they invading my trees.
Help!

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

I doubt those are Spider Webs but they most likely would be the webs that one of several moth larva would make.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:15AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

unless you are a witch.. and can hover up there on your broom.. to see whats up there ....

i suggest you call your COUNTY extension office.. and ask them what current plague is in your county ...

notice that the branches beyond the web.. are barer than that below... that suggests caterpillars ... rather than spiders.. which arent insects ...

ken

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 12:23PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Kellycat, please describe the problem in more detail. Are these webs on a variety of plants? Are these just in your neighborhood? Have you been able to see the culprits, close-up?

The image you've presented appears to be of the webbing from Eastern Tent Caterpillars, but your added description of spiders confuses the issue. Can you clarify?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 5:36PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Webbing from tent caterpillars.

Disrupt the webs (if you can reach them) so that the birds, etc, can get to them.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:43PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

You can look here for your county's Cooperative Extension office:

http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:59PM
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jerzeegirl(9)

I have seen them in my neighborhood too on the central west coast of Florida. Must be a caterpillar year.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:03PM
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kellycat

I've seen 3 different kinds or shapes and sizes of spiders in these webs. Some very small black spiders, very small green spiders & small to med size brown spiders with a flat back. I did see some caterpillars one day, but I mostly see the spiders. Thank you all for your help! And thank you to the person who posted the site for the county ext svc. I'll give them a call.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2014 at 9:54PM
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botanybob(Northern Idaho)

Really, these webs are not created by spiders. If spiders are present, they are there by chance. Spiders are beneficial and eat a lot of pest insects. They do not eat the leaves. These are made by tent caterpillars which do eat the leaves.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:25PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

> "Webbing from tent caterpillars.

"Disrupt the webs (if you can reach them) so that the birds, etc, can get to them."

+1

Birds love to eat the worms if they can get through the web. Though, when we had really bad infestations in NE, we would cut them down and burn them.

Dennis

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 2:03PM
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kellycat

I want to believe what you guys are saying except that I only see spiders in these webs and never any caterpillars. If it is the invisible tent caterpillars, are they sporadic or are they here to stay? I can't reach the webs high up in the trees, but when i cleaned the webs off my satellite dish, it was only very small black spiders I saw running all over the place.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 12:12PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Kelly, this most recent image clearly shows spiderling webs. Whether or not it's the same thing that you showed us at the tops of the trees remains to be seen.

I suspect that you've had tent caterpillars in the trees and spiderlings in the shrubs and grass. But it's pretty difficult to tell anything from the first images.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 1:13PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

What is on your dish is not caterpillar tents. Looks like plain old spiders. I wouldn't worry about them.

What is in the tree picture is caterpillar tents. Note how the leaves near the tents are all eaten - by the caterpillars that live in the tents. They don't really harm a healthy tree much and soon will pupate (turn into moths) and fly away.

Dennis

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 1:14PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Kellycat....do you understand your situation, now? If you had been able to examine the tree webs, you'd find hundreds, thousands of Eastern Tent caterpillars.

But those webs that you could see.....on shrubs or other lower lying location are the work of spider hatchlings. The egg sacs overwinter and hatch in the early spring. Coincidentally, the egg mass of the caterpillar has much the same story.

There is nothing that needs to be done for either critter. I have sprayed the caterpillar nests with strong streams of water, just to break up the protective webbing. You'd be amazed at all of the different things that go after them, once they can get to them! Birds, frogs, lizards, squirrels, spiders, and all kinds of predatory insects.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 3:54PM
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kellycat

You guys are great! Thank you so much for the info. I still have the lower-lying webs, but not as much. I'm now curious about what these spiderlings are? Why are they around all of a sudden. I've never seen them before this last year of infestation.

Now that you mention that the tent caterpillars will turn into moths, I've noticed moths everywhere lately and wondered where have they come from and why. I've also noticed that the webs in the trees are not as bad and seem to be falling away with the new spring time growth.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 1:38PM
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