What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Orange and white spotted insect
Location:  Austin, Texas
September 26, 2010 9:11 pm
Hoping you could identify this one for me…information online seems very scarce.
Signature:  ESP.

Ailanthus Webworm

Dear ESP,
Your moth is a native species of Ermine Moth that has gotten the common name of Ailanthus Webworm.  The interesting thing about that is that the Ailanthus is not native and it might be the most dangerous weed tree in North America.  The Ailanthus can survive in all types of climates and conditions from deserts to snow to swamps.  Sadly, the Ailanthus Webworm feeds on the leaves and that will not kill the tree.  We need to find a native borer that will feed on the wood, preferably the roots, of this scourge tree.  We have gotten more requests to identify the Ailanthus Webworm this year than ever before and we suspect its numbers are increasing as its introduced host tree can be found coast to coast and border to border.

I noticed you have a lot of requests for this one…sorry to add myself to
the populous! Thanks…ESP.

No problem.  It allowed us to continue to pontificate on the pest tree that is commonly called the Tree of Heaven.

Trees of Heaven

Ailanthus comment
Ailanthus trees are nasty and they smell bad.
September 27, 2010 10:36 am
Hi,
I check out your website everyday and I love it a lot, and I couldn’t do without it. When you go to your Mom’s house in Ohio ever year, I go into withdrawal until you get back. I just have to have my WTB fix.
Just a quick comment on those nasty trees in the picture.
When I lived in Detroit, they grow all over the place,in the alleys etc.
They smell bad. My friends and neighbors and I always referred to them as sewer trees because of their odor.
They’re hard to get rid of. They have a extensive root system and unless you dig them up, you can’t get rid of them.
Even when they’re small and they’re not much bigger than toothpicks, they have one heck of a root system.
Hopefully an insect will appear that would take care of that scourge, and save people a lot of time and trouble trying to dispose of them.
Thanks
Regards,
Signature: Sueann Juzwiak

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

One Response to Ailanthus Webworm Moth

  1. nihil says:

    Tree of Heaven is a scourge upon the country. No matter how many times I cut them down or dig up these invasive little (expletive) plants they come back. Plus, they grow, well, like weeds. Plus they stink….blech. One would think a good northern Indiana winter would kill em but alas, they come back like a bad rash.

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