What are Those Little Green Worms Hanging from Oaks Trees?

PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA

By Rick Orr 03/03/2021
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Green Worm suspended by small silk thread from an Oak tree
Oak Leafroller

Oak Leafrollers

The little green worms hanging on a silk thread from Oak trees throughout Pinellas County are Oak Leafrollers and are harmless – a nuisance but harmless. The little green worms feed on Oak Tree leaves and then do what most caterpillars do – form a cocoon and then turn into a moth. Their feeding is usually of little consequence to the oak trees – there are plenty of leaves for the tree and the worm.

But as a nuisance pest (as opposed to a lethal pest) they are very bothersome creatures - clinging to clothes, cars, and bushes and invade our homes and vehicles as hitch-hikers.

The problem is the wind! The wind dislodges them from their lofty dining rooms in the trees and they hang suspended in midair by a thin silk line. As you walk through the area the silk and worms cling to clothes and skin. The other day after spraying a yard, I picked a half dozen or so from my clothes!

Best Advice: This too shall pass! Allow the worms to finish their life cycle and soon they will be gone.

Rick Orr Owner-Operator APL Pest Control/Creator of ILOVETURF.COM
Rick
Orr
APL Pest Control

Rick Orr is the creator of Iloveturf.com, Owner/Operator of APL Pest Control, and a graduate of VA Tech in Agronomy (Turf Ecology).  

Since 1980, Rick worked in the green industry, mostly with golf courses, resorts, and large communities. Rick has obtained certifications for arboriculture, landscape contractor, irrigation contractor, and taught Environmental Horticulture at St Petersburg College.  

Rick lives and works in Pinellas County.

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Speaking Engagements - Does it seem like you are only hearing one side of water restrictions, fertilizer bans, plant restrictions, and many other urban landscape hot topics? Rick Orr is available for speaking engagements for your HOA, Community or Professional Association, or Garden Club about a variety of subjects. Feel free to contact Rick Orr at [email protected] for more information.