How to Raise Catawba Worms


Catawba worms, which are actually caterpillars, are commonly associated with Catalpa trees. They have a mutually beneficial relationship. Catawba worms feed exclusively on the leaves on Catalpa trees, and their dung fertilizes the tree. Many people use Catawba worms for fishing bait, so it is possible that’s why our reader wants to raise these creatures.

Our reader didn’t mention how long he has been waiting for Catawba worms to infest his Catalpa trees. It is possibly that eggs have been laid, but they haven’t hatched yet. There is also the possibility that the tree is unhealthy, or that it has been sprayed with pesticides that repulse the caterpillars. Catawba emergence is really dependent on weather, so it is also possible that these bugs aren’t happy with the current climate conditions.

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Some people report that Catawba worms will infest their trees for several years, and then suddenly disappear for several years. Our reader didn’t say if his trees had been infested in the past, but this could also be a possibility.

Unfortunately, without more information we aren’t able to determine why our reader’s Catalpa trees are Catawba worm-free. Therefore, we don’t know how to proceed in getting worms to infest his trees. If he has any neighbors with Catalpa trees and Catawba worms, perhaps he can import some. If any of our other readers have any other ideas, please let us know. We wish him the best of luck in figuring out a solution!

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How to Raise Catawba Worms
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How to Raise Catawba Worms
We recently received an inquiry from a reader about how to raise Catawba worms. He said he has the trees, but that there aren’t any worms. We are happy to provide some information to our reader.

1 Comment

  1. Charles Helm

    I imported about a dozen catawba worms to my trees from a friends trees and they are doing real well. Like your reader I didn’t have them on my trees. Guess I will see next year how sucessful this will be. As for now we have several.

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