Friday, June 15, 2012
Fall webworm right on schedule
Mid-June is the normal time period for the very first webworm egg masses to be spotted. It seems fall webworm moths didn't get the memo that bud break was early in 2012.
Fall webworm egg masses are easy to identify by the white "fluff" scattered over the top of the egg cluster. This "fluff" is actually moth scales that the female scrapes off her body in an effort to disguise the eggs to avoid attacks by egg parasites.
Depending on the number of colonies we see per acre, we can control this pest with a wide range of insecticides. Currently, the action threshold for fall webworm is 5 colonies per acre. Make sure to scout your orchard carefully to spot the colonies when they are still small (the size of your fist). Young larvae are much easier to control than larvae nearing the end of their life cycle.