Battling Inch Worms in Charlotte NC

Real Estate Agent with The Charlotte Home Team/Keller Williams 56005

CHARLOTTE:   Drive around Charlotte, NC this time of year and you may see people wrapping black tape around their trees.  What you say?  So did I the first year we moved into  our neighborhood of Commonwealth park. Filled with huge majestic and champion oak trees, like many of the close to Uptown neighborhoods like myers Park, Midwood and Elizabeth, and even Southpark... this is a beautiful area.

The first Spring we came out of the house one day and saw a few green worms dropping from  the trees in our yard.  The next day their were a few more. In the days that followed we began to think we were living in a horror movie!!! Little green worms dropped from the trees by the thousands, maybe even millions!  They created webs of writhing cranker worms hanging from the trees, covering the ground, the house, the cars.  They got on us as we  ran to car!  They ate every leaf on every plant in every yard in the neighborhood.  Talk about your plaque of locusts!  Locust got nothin' on these guys!

That year the city decided to spend over one million dollars to have the close in neighborhoods in whole city sprayed and destroyed the little devils.  What a blessed relief!   But we can never forget and so anyone who has lived through this knows to wrap their trees with "tanglefoot".

You see, there is a moth that makes its way up the trunks of certain trees and lays its eggs in the bark.  Come spring the little monsters emerge from the  eggs...and eat every green thing in sight.  They can defoliate an entire 10 year old oak tree in a matter of days.  Some trees are so stressed by it that they can die. 

Tree wrapping is tape covered with sticky sunstance that is fitted to the tree. Since the moths are flightless, they are required to crawl up the trunk in order to lay their eggs. The band is designed to force the bug to crawl over the band and gets caught int he sticky Tabglefoot. When applied  in a timely manner it is extremely effective in stopping the moths in their tracks.

So if you see the neighbors out there banding  trees you can feel good about the  neighbors, but personally I would get out and band every tree on the block!

Posted by

The Charlotte Home Team

Charlotte's Most Experienced, Educated & knowledgeable Realtors

working the Charlotte Real Estate Market today.

KC & Eileen Covington



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Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

I believe I would have freaked out about the inch worms.  Fortunately the city was proactive and offered a solution to the problem.

Nov 15, 2010 12:50 AM #1
Amber Boyd
Novus Real Estate - Wylie, TX

hi there

Nov 15, 2010 12:55 AM #2
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Advisors - Minneapolis, MN

I can't even imagine.  In Minnesota we have Boxelder bugs that look for warm spaces in the fall. Sometimes they swarm windows and doors.  Frequently, vacant properties will have a slew of dead bugs that came in through the vents.  They do not reproduce in the millions however.  Ugh, it's really awful.

Nov 15, 2010 12:56 AM #3
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Very interesting. Glad we do not have them in Maryland.

 Blooming for you!

Nov 15, 2010 06:40 AM #4
Valerie Osterhoudt
Johnson Real Estate, Inc. - Cromwell, CT
ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889

Eileen.. That is grouse!!  It isn't that bad here in the northeast, but when they are out you can even hear them eating away at the leaves.  UGH!!

Nov 15, 2010 06:45 AM #5
Lee Floyd
Race City Inspections Inc - Countyline, NC


I like the tape.  And it definitely does the trick.  The key is to get everyone to do it.  We get them here in Mooresville, but they are not as plentiful.


Nov 15, 2010 07:01 AM #6
Ellen Dittman
Watson Realty Corp. - Middleburg, FL
#1 Stop for NE FLA-JAX/OP 904.535.1199 (TEXT OK) r

Great they found an environmentally safe solution. 

Nov 15, 2010 07:02 AM #7
K.C. McLaughlin
RE/MAX United - Cary, NC
Realtor, e-PRO, Homes for Sale - Cary, Raleigh NC

Reminds me of Long Island when I was about 12 - the caterpillars were out of control - covered the driveways and everywhere. Looked like the driveways was moving. Never had a year that bad again. Do not have the problem in Cary NC and we are in the neighborhood Preston Oaks - go figure...

Nov 15, 2010 07:09 AM #8
Michael J. Perry
KELLER WILLIAMS Central PA East - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster Relo Specialist

Wow so it was raining worms !!! Nature out of control !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nov 15, 2010 07:32 AM #9
Richard Weisser
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Coweta Newnan Homes for Sale


Interesting ...this year we had an invasion of "army worms" which ate up our lawns. Annoying little buggers here too!

Nov 15, 2010 07:43 AM #10
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Eileen, we had a problem with caterpillars a few years back. Glad to hear the city pitched in help get rid of the worms. Taping with tanglefoot should hopefully keep them away.

Nov 15, 2010 08:17 AM #11
Aaron Seekford
Arlington Realty, Inc. - Arlington, VA
Ranked Top 1% Nationwide 703-836-6116

It sounds like that million dollars was well spent. I'm sure a lot of folks were freaking out at the sight of those little rascals.

Nov 15, 2010 09:29 AM #12
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I grew up with this phenomenon. I am a city boy and we had an apple tree in our front yard. it would have the largest juiciest caterpillars I have ever seen (as a boy). Never forgot it and I never ate one of those apples either.....good thought post and thank you

Nov 15, 2010 09:52 AM #13
Gretchen & Mel Ahrens - Hood River, OR

I have not seen the worm problem before - have seen locusts though.  Great solution for solvong the problem with the tape.


Nov 15, 2010 11:04 AM #14
Sherry Chastain
Hendersonville, Nashville, Old Hickory, Lebanon Tennessee - Hendersonville, TN
Realtor, Selling Homes, Lake Properties,Luxury Homes,Short Sales

Never had the worms. My first house had the boxelder beetles. I cursed them. They came in my house in ever crevace, had to clean them up everyday.

Nov 15, 2010 11:12 PM #15
Eileen Covington
The Charlotte Home Team/Keller Williams - Charlotte, NC
(The Charlotte Home Team)

How did you get rid of them?

Nov 16, 2010 12:21 PM #16

They are really bad in Concord, NC right now and I'm thinking seven dusting my trees and shrubs.  Is this a good idea?

Mar 21, 2012 07:54 PM #17
Sarah vroom
Why would you think it's a good idea to spray an entire city with poison to get rid of insects that were created by God
Mar 27, 2012 06:09 AM #18
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Eileen Covington

(The Charlotte Home Team)
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