The Bedstraw Hawk moth caterpillar has a distinctive red horn on its tail.

How to Get Rid of Moth Webs on Trees

by Alicia Bodine

Moth webs protect the larvae of a few different insects. Tent-making caterpillars, bagworms and the fall webworm all create moth webs. Although a small number of these webs are harmless, large infestations can lead to leaf damage in your landscape. If you want to keep your trees insect-free and looking healthy, you'll need to get rid of the moth webs.

Put on garden gloves, and remove the moth webs using a stick or broom handle. You may not be able to reach the top of the trees, but you should be able to get a good number of moth webs this way.

Kill the insect larvae in the moth webs. Ohio State University recommends either crushing them or dropping them in a bucket of soapy water.

Spray the tree with a pesticide that has the main ingredient Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) either late in the afternoon or early in the evening. Direct sunlight can hinder the effectiveness of the Bt solution. Use a garden sprayer or a power sprayer to reach the higher limbs of your tree. Follow all manufacturer's instructions when using the pesticide, but generally Bt is mixed at a rate of 1/2 teaspoon to 4 teaspoons for every gallon of water. The Bt product will kill the larvae in the moth webs you had trouble reaching, as well as any caterpillars that still remain on the tree.

Items you will need

  • Garden gloves
  • Stick or broom handle
  • Bucket of soapy water
  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Garden sprayer or power sprayer


  • Birds are natural predators of caterpillars. Setting up a birdhouse and bird bath makes your property more attractive to birds. The birds will then help keep your caterpillar population to a minimum.
  • Removing the moth webs is best done in the early morning or late afternoon because those are the times caterpillars are most likely to be inside the webs.


  • Colorado State University warns against pruning or burning the moths, because you could damage the tree itself.

About the Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.

Photo Credits

  • caterpillar image by vladislav susoy from