A two-inch caterpillar that builds webs may pay your trees a visit this fall. This fall webworm is greenish-yellow with white hairs and two rows of black dots down its back. It most likely won't harm your fruit or ornamental trees but can make you do things to your trees you really should not.
These caterpillars construct massive silk webs - usually in persimmon, sourwood, pecan, fruit trees and willows. The webs are unsightly in the landscape and can drive tree owners crazy. The insect thrives on sun and moisture. If you have had both these conditions this year, you may have infestations of fall webworm over the next month or two.
What can you do?
One option is to leave the critter alone. It will not kill your tree. Another option is to break up the web for hungry birds. A liquid spray of Bacillus thuringiensis can be used as well. Regardless of what you do, I warn against trying to burn the worms out. A popular means of "control" is to torch the tent and try to extinguish the flame before the tree suffered major damage. You risk both tree damage and burning other property.