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Green Inch Worms

Posted by muffin1358 6/MA (My Page) on
Sat, May 17, 14 at 14:06

Loads of green inch worms in my backyard under the oak tree. It's kinda disgusting. Anything I should be doing!? Or are they harmless?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Green Inch Worms

More likely winter moth caterpillars. Yuck.

If you look at the uMass landscape message that Claire posts, look at the one for 9 May (on page 2 of the forum). That has winter moth info.

My daughter has been collecting them thinking they are inch worms. At first I was discouraging her. But then realized better to have them in her
bug house than snacking in my trees.

RE: Green Inch Worms

UMass suggests BT, a non-toxic bacteria, for treatment of these pests.

Since the caterpillars have to eat it for it to work, it is actually very narrowly targeted - specifically, it won't kill butterfly larva, even if some of it drifts onto them.

I've applied it using a hose-end sprayer, and although I can't reach the tops of my big maples, I can get it onto pretty much all the visible leaves, which has been pretty effective. My main problem with W.M.s has been on ornamental cherries, maples (which I don't especially care about) and on assorted smaller woody plants, like blueberries and roses.

Here is a link that might be useful: winter moth fact sheet

RE: Green Inch Worms

I believe they are winter moth caterpillars. I use BT once a week around this season, but I cannot reach huge oaks and maples. So I spray it almost all shrubs and perennials under the trees. BT works very good, but I cannot spray it when it is peak - the caterpillars fall like shower on you. Maybe I would like to try oil or tape next year...

RE: Green Inch Worms

Thanks for the replies. I'll have to leave it to the condo association. And be extra careful when sitting on my back deck.

This too shall pass...

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