BUCKMOTH and other CATERPILLAR CONTROL

Buckmoth caterpillars falling from oak trees in April are the bane of existence in New Orleans.  One sting from the poisonous spines can send a person to the hospital.  The adult moths are black and white with a rusty tail and make their mating flights in mid-December.

Buckmoth Caterpillar

Buckmoth. These moths fly by day in Mid-December and predict stinging caterpillars the coming April.

If you see these and have a history of caterpillars in the area, you might want to consider spraying your oak trees.

Waiting to spray ’till they are crawling all over the place is a bit late and service may not come promptly enough.  Besides, all the cadavers lying around are unsightly.  Wise consumers book early, spray trees in groups to get discounted per-tree rates and call for free spot re-treatments if needed. If trees are sprayed early – before April 1 – we can get effective control with the natural insecticide, B.t. plus a liquid fertilizer to green the trees up, and not have to resort to chemicals.

Prices, New Orleans, LA area:

#Trees   Price

1                $185.

2                $270.

3                $350.

4                $420.

5                $500.

Each additional: $100.

Other Caterpillars: The fee for caterpillar spray can be as low as $100.

There is only one generation of Buckmoths per year, so these are guaranteed prices.  Residual flare-ups or caterpillars wandering in from neighboring trees would be spot-treated for free as part of the listed price.

For service, call Jean at 504-367-1160 or e-mail us at adriantree@aol.com

Other caterpillar problems are controlled in response to service calls.  The next most popular season is control of Pecan caterpillars, usually early in the month of June.  In Louisiana, the Pecan and the Walnut trees become infested with two main species of caterpillars.  The Walnut worm clusters look like a blob of ground meat on the trunks of trees.  They move down from the leaves into the shade during the heat of the day.  When you catch them there, simply smash them with a board – they haven’t developed resistance to this treatment!  Otherwise, the entire crown of the tree needs to be sprayed with B.t.  Later in the season, the worms darken, to almost black with white hairs.  Then, they’d have to be killed with a contact insecticide.  Another common pest is the Fall Webworm, which is a white, hairy caterpillar with rows of small black spots.  They make large tents in the crowns of trees.  Spray mixtures need extra soap to penetrate these webs, or spraying needs to be done in the afternoon for better night-time residual for foraging caterpillars.  Pecans need extra Zinc in their development.  It is a good idea to add this element, along with foliar fertilizer and a fungicide to a spray mix for the caterpillars.  Pecan caterpillars have more than one generation per year.  Prices for spraying pecans are a bit lower, but the work is guaranteed only about 30 days.  If the big sprayer is not required, the fee for caterpillar spraying can be as low as $65.  Best results for the money are to target the first generation in the month of June.

Sometimes stinging green IO caterpillars are seen in the crape myrtles and horned oak moth caterpillars sometimes show up in oak trees in June.

Pine sawflies, appearing as defoliators in May are not caterpillars and can’t be controlled with B.t.

Spraying oak trees with our antique John Bean trailer mounted sprayer powered by a 1949 in-line 6 cylinder flat head Continental Red Seal engine. This machine puts out 75-gallons per minute at 1000 psi. We have 2 machines like this in our fleet. Operator does not require PPE to spray plain water in this photo.

Spraying oak trees with our antique John Bean trailer mounted sprayer powered by a 1949 in-line 6 cylinder flat head Continental Red Seal engine. This machine puts out 75-gallons per minute at 1000 psi. We have 2 machines like this in our fleet. Operator does not require PPE to spray plain water in this photo.