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Are Caterpillars Eating Your Tree Leaves?

Many different caterpillars damage tree leaves. The Orange Striped Oakorm is one of the most destructive.

These caterpillars typically damage oak trees beginning in August. They drop off the tree and burrow into the ground near the tree and overwinter, Next year they emerge out of the ground as adult moths. These adult moths fly up into the oak tree and lay thousands of eggs on the oak leaves.

Once these eggs hatch into very small larvae (caterpillars) they begin eating the oak tree leaves. They are voracious eaters and devour leaves. During this stage, all they do is practically eat and excrete nasty waste (brown pellets) underneath the tree.

 This waste covers driveways and sidewalks. If you have a patio or pool...well it's even nastier. If you don't kill the caterpillars next year could be even worse.

I can help you. I treat small trees to very large 80' tall trees or larger. Small trees under 20 feet tall typically are sprayed with a contact insecticide.

Larger trees are injected with a systemic insecticide. It's like going to the doctor and getting a shot except there are numerous "shots" depending on how large your tree. 

The insecticide is very fast acting. I've witnessed caterpillars falling off the tree in less than an hour and they are dead or dying. 

The cost to treat is a little difficult to quote online and also depends on where you are located. Small trees up to 20' tall are typically $125.00 plus the cost of travel if applicable. Larger trees typically start at $195.00 plus the cost of travel if applicable. If you have multiple trees that need treatment; I offer multiple tree discounts.

Call me at 205-854-3676 or email to prevent these caterpillars from causing more damage.

David W. Boggan

ISA Board Certified Master Arborist #SO-5270B

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