How to Get Rid of Silkworms From Trees

Written by david montoya
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How to Get Rid of Silkworms From Trees
Avoiding chemical insecticides is best for the environment. (tree image by Viera Pon from

Getting rid of silkworms from a tree requires a balanced approach. Spraying the tree with insecticides will kill the silkworms, but it will kill almost every other bug as well. On the other hand, you could remove the silkworms' nest by hand, but the worms will slowly make their way up the tree again. The best course of action is to exploit the worms' limited diet. Anything other than mulberry leaves will likely kill them. Introducing lettuce to the worms' diet will remedy the silkworm problem and keep most other insects safe.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Lettuce
  • Ladder
  • Gloves
  • Rubbish bin
  • Small plastic bag
  • Knife (optional)

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    Using Lettuce to Get Rid of Silkworms

  1. 1

    Tear or cut off pieces of iceberg lettuce and place them in a plastic bag. The size of the lettuce pieces should be large enough for the silkworms to see. A larger size also create a strong scent that will attract the worms.

  2. 2

    Place the plastic bag in your pocket or somewhere that is easily accessible, but do not hold onto it. You will most likely need to climb a ladder to reach the silkworm nest, so you will need to keep your hands free to climb the ladder safely.

  3. 3

    Unfold your ladder next to the tree and locate the silkworm nest. It is easily identifiable, as it will be large and cotton-like. Silkworm nests are also slightly transparent.

  4. 4

    Remove the lettuce from the plastic bag and place the pieces around the nest. Try to cover all pathways to the nest with lettuce so the silkworms cannot go anywhere without passing or travelling over the lettuce. This will greatly increase the chances of the silkworm eating the lettuce.

  5. 5

    Return after one week to see if there is any activity inside the nest. If so, place more lettuce around the nest. The silkworms have been successfully killed if there is no activity in the nest. Remove the nest with your hand and dispose of it in a rubbish bin once you are sure all the silkworms have been killed.

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