Pacific Rural Press, Volume 65, Number 25, 20 June 1903 — The Oak Web Worm. [ARTICLE]

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The Oak Web Worm.

To the Editor:—What can be done toward the destruction of the worm pest that has for several years infested the scrub-oak trees of Belvedere, Marin county ? I refer to the web-spinning worm that has its habitat upon leaves of the trees, which they devour before swinging themselves free. The effort we have made has included the burning of pan-torches each other evening, and contemplated the cutting off of all branches hopelessly dead, besides spraying the trees in the fall and early spring. What, in your opinion, would be the results of such treatment, or what, in your experience, would be an economical and efficacious method of warfare to adopt against this pest? Belvedere is practically isolated from other situations where the scrub-oak grows, and should be able to show good results in any collective effort at extermination, over which our citizens seem now to be quite enthusiastic. The blight of our trees this year has been so bad that every resident has been awakened to a sense of his civic duties in this direction. — Reader, Belvedere. The best way to kill the caterpillars would be to

spray the foliage, at about the time the worms are first appearingl, with Paris green, the same as used for the codlin moth, according' to the formula published in the Pacific Rural. Press of April 25. The use of the lime is for the purpose of preventing the foliage from injury by any free arsenic there may be in the Paris green. One spraying careful'y done ought to be sufficient, for this insect is not like the codlin moth, which appears in successive broods during the season. It is possible, however, that you have a fall hatching which would require another spraying. Fortunately, this caterpillar has natural enemies which usually keep it in check, and it is only occasionally that it works serious harm to the foliage of the oak. There is no reason to fear that the oaks will be destroyed, because the insect is a native and the trees have been subjected to its attack at intervals from time immemorial. However, if you are ready to go to the expense and trouble of spraying the oaks, you can save the foliage in the way stated.