Safely removing webs hanging in your branches

If you’ve looked at the trees in your yard lately, you may have noticed webs hanging in the branches.

For some insects, they’re pockets of protection.

August is when we tend to see a high number of fall webworms.

“They're technically caterpillars. They’re little hairy caterpillars and they form this silking cocoon and then they actually congregate on the inside of that,” Hanna Smith said.

The insects feed on the leaves inside the web, according to Smith, an agriculture – horticulture agent at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension at Guilford County.

Webworms won’t destroy the tree, but if you don’t want to see the web, you can gently make an opening in the web to provide a food source for birds and wasps.

Smith says people should not burn webworms.

“That's not safe, please do not do that, and insecticides are not necessary either because these insects are not going to kill the tree.”

Smith says webworms feed on about 90 different species of trees.