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I have a small bush/tree. I don't know exactly what it is. What I see is the new growths folded over onto each other, and connected together. When I pull them apart, I can find tiny white worms with black heads, which are about 5/8 inch long.

The worms have eaten the new growth, severely stunting it.

I tried treating with insecticidal soap to no avail, probably because it can't get to the worms as they are all safe in their tent. I also tried "BT" hoping they were some sort of caterpillar. It appears that has not worked either as I see no affect. The next step I guess is to pull out the tree.

EDIT: Here's a link to pictures of the tree, the "tents", and the worms. note the two worms: one greenish and one with a black head and white body. the greenish one is a first, i've never seen it before.


thanks for your help.

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Definitely post pictures. Try to get a close-up of the worms, a shot of the "tent", and a shot of the tree so that it can maybe be identified. –  bstpierre Apr 29 '12 at 20:32
What kind of tree is it? They look like the tenting-caterpillars we had a mass outbreak of a few years back here in the DFW area. Those preferred mulberries. After seeing some amusing amateur fumigation going on at the time (probably killed more human brain cells than caterpillars), I wonder consider professionals to deal with anything more than 6ft high. –  winwaed Apr 30 '12 at 12:54
As well as moth caterpillars, don't forget butterflies. On a nature walk on Friday MrsWinwaed reported seeing lots of butterflies curling ash leaves and laying eggs (also some caterpillars emerging). She had a lot of kids with her who thought it was the coolest thing. In other words, even though they might make a mess of the leaves, they might be something you want to keep. –  winwaed Apr 30 '12 at 12:56
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