Winter Gardening Tasks: Removing Pests

January 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm Leave a comment

While many people consider winter the time of rest for a gardener, it is actually quite the contrary.  This is a season of varying tasks such as insect control, disease control, pruning and bed preparation in Central Virginia.  For instance, the springtime tent caterpillars can be controlled by spying for and removing the egg masses attached to branches of plants in the Rosaceae family: such as cherry, pear, crabapple, apple and apricots.  In addition Tent Caterpillars have been reported to feed on a variety of hardwoods, including ash, birch, blackgum, oak, sweetgum, maple, and poplar as well.

The egg masses are easily removed by hand now or you can spray the tree with horticulture oil more toward the end of February.  Spray the dormant branches and bark of the tree with diluted oil when the temperature stays above 40 degrees for a few days, it must not rain for 24 hours.  The oil will not only suffocate the egg masses of the Tent Caterpillar it will also kill overwintering scale, mite and aphids on woody plants.  Always follow the instructions on the label for proper mixing instructions and application rates.

Malacosoma_americanum1- Eastern Tent Caterpillar

tent caterpillar silken web mass

 

tent caterpillar egg mass

tent caterpillar egg mass

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