The caterpillar infestation explained the tree's failure to thrive that spring - the bean crop was vanishing, and unlike the other mesquites, it had not put out many new shoots. It wasn't dying, just not thriving, and had never recovered from the usual ratty winter mesquite look.
A co-worker and I discussed the easiest way to get the pests under control and came up with a brilliant idea.
The brilliant plan:
- Let the worms get up in the tree from their daytime hiding place in the pebble mulch.
- Band the trunk with an adhesive material late that night.
- Worms would get stuck on the adhesive on their way down at dawn.
- Mockingbirds would arrive at daylight and eat the worms for breakfast.
- The tree would be saved.
|Caterpillars on and above the packing tape|