Inchworm Infestations

Inchworms serve as food to many bird species, and most trees and plant life can survive minimal inchworm feeding. However, when inchworm populations grow to the level of an infestation, they can become a destructive pest causing damage to vegetable crops, ornamental trees, shrubs, and flowers. Inchworms lay their eggs in both fall and spring, so it is possible to have more than one infestation in a year. 

Generally reaching about an inch in length, inchworms are hairless and come in white, green, or black colors. To check for an infestation carefully check plants for both worms and larvae or signs of inchworm damage. Infected plants will have tiny and irregularly shaped holes between the veins. 

Different species of inchworms have different diets. They are voracious eaters who consume plant matter day and night. New leaves, leaf buds, flower buds, fruits, and berries may all be targets. Damage ranges from large holes to nearly total defoliation. Everything from your ornamental trees to your tomato garden can fall victim to an inchworm infestation. 

The best prevention for an inchworm infestation is ensuring your yard is hospitable to an inchworm’s natural predator: birds. Installing birdhouses and feeding stations is a great way to lure birds to your yard. 

While birds will go a long way, if you have an extreme infestation you may need to hire a professional to take care of the problem if expensive trees and shrubs are at risk. 

If you’re noticing a higher-than-usual amount of inchworm activity in your yard, consider giving us a call. We can offer you a number of treatment options to help tamp down the infestation and save your trees, shrubs, and garden.