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Question: 1129-2114
I got this green caterpillar with a black head that is really abundant on my pines. It is not quite an inch and decimating the leaves. I have seen them in prior years but nothing like this year. I used an oil spray to kill them. What is it? Russ, Cranston, RI

Mort's Answer:
Sawfly larvae are ferocious feeders on pines and sometimes spruce trees. The adult is a wasp and be equally bothersome. Oils sprays suffocate the larvae. Oil with nicotine is a faster remedy. You could break up your last cigarette and mix it with the oil. That is an organic solution and might be more humane. Malathion works well for any sucking, chewing insect. You might consider using a dormant oil in the fall to prevent infestation. It can also ruin cherry trees and strawberry plants.

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Question: 1270-2615
I see a lots of caterpillars climbing up my trees. What is the best way to get rid of them? Gary, Uncasville, CT

Mort's Answer:
Placing bands around the trunk is still the best method of keeping them from getting onto the leaves and branches. If the bark is smooth, you can apply a lubricant like vaseline directly around the bark in a four inch strip. Bands with oils are available a garden centers. You may want to call in an arborist to power spray you trees, if they have already begun to munch.

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