A reader recently sent us a very short question about worms on trees. More specifically, he asked what type of worm will “eat a circle” around a limb until it falls to the ground. (We presume – and desperately hope – that “limb” here refers to a tree branch or some other plant limb, not the limb of a sentient animal.) The reader actually didn’t limit his question to worms – he mentioned it could be a “bug” too. (In terms of scientific imprecision, the word “bug” is even worse than the word “worm,” alas.) So, we are tasked with determining what kind of creature – be it a worm or a bug – is capable of eating a branch or limb off of a tree.
A reader from Philadelphia recently wrote to us in regard to the small, red worms he is finding in his tree. The worms are only about an inch or two long, and they are thin. According to the reader, they look like earthworms, except that they are smaller and dark red. What are these worms, and if you find them in your tree, should you do anything about it?
Although it is not likely, if you are convinced that the Catawba worm is ruining your catalpa tree, there are several ways to get rid of them. Preventative measures include insecticides such as Ortho Grub-B-Gon Max, Merit, Arena, Mach2, and Season-Long Grub Control.