Local News

Webworm Nests are Full Of Wonder

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DURHAM — Bizarre cobwebs are taking over trees in some parts of the Triangle. They are not Halloween decorations, they are the home of the fall webworm.

One peek inside the webs and you will find the

hyphantria cunea

, otherwise known as the fall webworm.

The worms feed on leaves in scrub trees like sweetgums and sourwoods.

The little creatures are harmless, but their interesting webs are full of wonder.

The size of the cocoon-like webs depend on how hungry the worms are.As they branch out to eat more leaves, they spin the web around themselves.

Dr. Tom Krakauer, of the

Museum of Life and Science

in Durham, cautions people not to try and get rid of them.

"Just leave them alone. It's part of nature," he says. "If you spray them with kerosene and light it on fire, you probably would do more damage."

Do not use pesticides either. It will only hurt the birds who prey on the worms.

The strange-looking nests only hang around for about a month or two, so until they are gone, just sit back and enjoy the view.


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