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Old 08-19-2013, 08:54 AM
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yucky caterpillar

i found this thing munching on my phal leaves this morning. i of course squished him. i've never had a monster predator like this before. any precautions to take? the phals are on the porch so are more protected. he did quite a bit of damage tho in a short time. wasn't there yesterday. i'm just glad he went for the leaves and not the buds and spikes.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:13 AM
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Oh no! Of course, the newest leaf! I would give it bug spray to keep them away. Is the porch screened in where it still got to your phal?
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:19 AM
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I know just how you feel. Something has really been munching on my Cinnamomum zeylanicum tree. Apparently, I am not the only one that likes cinnamon. I haven't found the little beast yet.
I usually just relocate the Caterpillars as I have raised butterflies since I was a kid. It is amazing how the native insects can find a host in the exotic plants.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:26 AM
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the porch isn't screened but is up fairly high. i don't see slugs or snails. i've also never seen these caterpillars either. gross!!
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:06 AM
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Looks a lot like...and timing would be correct...for Fall webworm. I have never seen them go after phals...they usually only eat tree leaves...but they are voracious eaters so I suppose a phal wouldn't be out of the question.

I would absolutely squish webworm.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katrina View Post
Looks a lot like...and timing would be correct...for Fall webworm. I have never seen them go after phals...they usually only eat tree leaves...but they are voracious eaters so I suppose a phal wouldn't be out of the question.

I would absolutely squish webworm.
Yeah, I was thinking along the lines of tent caterpillar or webworm, too. I've seen them in our persimmon trees occasionally. Never had them munch orchids - sorry they got yours, snazzyboots!
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:08 PM
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Oh NO! It could've eaten just ONE of the leaves on ONE of your plants, but noooOOOooo! It just HAD to taste some others. Sigh. You might want to do a patrol of your yard to see if more of the culprits are lurking. =/

Is there risk of bacterial infection from the damage? Should the wounds be treated, or will they most likely just scar over and not affect the plant?
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:54 PM
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Oh NO! It could've eaten just ONE of the leaves on ONE of your plants, but noooOOOooo! It just HAD to taste some others. Sigh. You might want to do a patrol of your yard to see if more of the culprits are lurking. =/

Is there risk of bacterial infection from the damage? Should the wounds be treated, or will they most likely just scar over and not affect the plant?
In my experience, things like this scar over pretty quickly unless they are constantly wet.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:55 PM
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Our tent worms over here are much darker but with the same yellow hairs. I too have a big chomp out of one of my Phals outside. They are a real nuisance.
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:35 PM
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I think by spraying our fruit trees with malathion all the time, we don't get these. So...that is what lives in that webbing.....
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
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Oh NO! It could've eaten just ONE of the leaves on ONE of your plants, but noooOOOooo! It just HAD to taste some others. Sigh. You might want to do a patrol of your yard to see if more of the culprits are lurking. =/

Is there risk of bacterial infection from the damage? Should the wounds be treated, or will they most likely just scar over and not affect the plant?
i was wondering that too. thanks catt for answering that. so they are on the fruit trees? we have a large pear tree in the yard. i'll check it tomorrow. never seen any tents but ya never know. grrrrr. thanks everyone
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:35 PM
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We had a pear tree but we cut it down due to fire blight, a bacterial disease that is really nasty. The sad thing...I think we finally had gotten rid of the infection...or at least I delude myself that all that effort did accomplish something.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:11 PM
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i looked at the pear tree today and saw a couple tents. we also have a large black walnut tree but i don't see any on that yet. i have been here 20 + yrs and never had them. seems like they are everywhere this year. looks like the trees are coming down.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:18 PM
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They don't harm the trees and you are not likely to get them every year. We had them once in the English Walnut...just once. We did nothing. Some years these are bad, other years you never see them.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:34 PM
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oh? i thought they were the devil? we have been talking about removing the trees anyway. they have some other issues but maybe it isn't quite as pressing?
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:49 PM
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They are unsightly and remove the leaves from a tree but the trees do recover. The devil is the clear-wing borer. These larva bore into the tree and if the tree isn't treated, it will die.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:01 PM
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If you have a pole saw or pole pruners and can reach the tents with that, just remove the tents/webs & discard, that may get rid of many of them. No need to cut the tree, unless it is for other reasons. Next year, keep an eye out for them early in the season, get rid of the webs as soon as you see them (bag them & toss in trash).
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