Question: Problem with conifers and pear trees
I have a very large garden that I have not visited for some time, yesterday I went down to take a look and I noticed that, on those that I presume to be pines, strange "cobwebs" have appeared along the whole tree (there are about five tall plants on the 10 meters) and are completely covered by these "cobwebs".
I fear that it may be a processionary.
Near these conifers I have a pear tree that has similar cobwebs, with the presence of many brownish larvae (but they are without hair) and I do not know if it is a different pathology or a growth stage of the processionary larva. (besides all this, my pear also has an infestation I think of lice and I also think of mushrooms)
Can you help me? (sorry if I wasn't very clear)
Answer: Problem with conifers and pear trees
in general the processionaries are well distinguishable from any other larva, as they produce on the trees that infest, at the top and exposed to the sun, large nests, constituted by a sort of yarn, similar to silk, white. These nests are wide, more or less as big as a pair of tennis bales, and white, they are therefore clearly visible even from afar. The nests are produced in winter, but they remain on the plant even in spring and summer, and processionaries are used, so it seems strange to me that you have not seen them. In any case, of moth larvae that produce large infestations, accompanied by showy cobwebs, there are not many then; the processionaries seem to develop preferably on conifers, the other similar larvae are the iphantrie, of a lighter color, often equipped with a series of small dark dots, often visible at work on the plants even in broad daylight.
These pests are definitely harmful, because they tend to produce large colonies, which can therefore completely defoliate a tree, with obvious damage to the plant.
In addition to this, the processionary larvae are equipped with a stinging down, which can cause itching to all parts of the body; therefore, when approaching a tree struck by the processionary it is useful to be well dressed and covered. The fight against the processionary is usually carried out by placing pheromone traps on the trees, which trap male adults, and therefore tend to contain infestations, until they completely eradicate the insect. In addition to this, in the woods the nesting of the nests is also practiced, in winter, when the climate is rigid; punctured nests tend to drop in temperature, thus killing most of the larvae. Another method consists in placing around the stem of the plants a plastic film, very thick, on which glue is placed for traps (it is found in specialized shops and in agricultural consortia): the larvae, coming down from the tree, will remain trapped. Insects such as captured must be destroyed, paying attention to the stinging substance present on the hair.
If instead it were hyphantria, also in this case we tend to destroy the nests, which in this case tend to be less compact, with the larvae inside them clearly visible. Or a treatment based on larvicidal insecticides is practiced, although it is quite complex to practice a treatment on a large adult tree.
Try contacting an agricultural consortium near you, so that an agronomist can come and see what afflicts your plants.