How to Handle Inchworms

As a homeowner on Long Island, one of the last things you want to see in your yard is a bunch of inchworms crawling around. While a couple of inchworms here and there aren’t too big of an issue, when seen in larger numbers these little pests can wreak havoc on your trees and foliage; and if left untreated, can quickly turn into a full-blown infestation.

Fortunately, there are several effective ways to treat inchworms and prevent them from coming back. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Identify the Problem
Before you can effectively treat inchworms you need to make sure that’s actually what you’re dealing with. Inchworms are small, green caterpillars that move in a looping motion, hence their name. If you notice more than a few of these critters in your yard, it’s a good bet that you have an inchworm infestation.

2. Remove Any Visible Inchworms
The first step in treating an inchworm infestation is to remove as many of the visible caterpillars as possible. You can do this by picking them off by hand or using a vacuum cleaner to suck them up. Be sure to dispose of them far away from your yard to prevent them from coming back.

3. Maintain Healthy Trees
One of the best ways to prevent inchworms from infesting your yard is to keep your trees healthy. This means pruning dead or damaged branches, watering your trees regularly, and fertilizing them as needed.

4. Encourage Natural Predators
Another effective way to control inchworms is to encourage natural predators like birds and parasitic wasps. You can do this by providing bird feeders and birdhouses in your yard and planting flowers that attract beneficial insects like wasps.

5. Use an Insecticide
Finally, if you have a large infestation you may need to use an insecticide to get rid of the inchworms. Look for a product that contains Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which is a natural bacteria that specifically targets caterpillars. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and wear protective gear when applying the insecticide. If you’re unsure of your ability to fully eradicate the issue, calling in the professionals is always a good idea. 

By following these tips you can effectively treat inchworms in your yard and prevent them from coming back. With a little persistence and patience you can keep your trees and foliage healthy and beautiful all year round. To get help with an infestation you can’t control, call Aronica Plant Healthcare today.