Web worms appear across Metro Atlanta - CBS46 News

Web worms appear across Metro Atlanta

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LUMPKIN COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Squirming bugs inside enormous webs are lining trees in North Georgia. And for drivers unused to the annual fall web worm demonstrations, this can be a creepy sight on the side of the road.

Bigger, and in greater numbers than usual, the silken webs are getting attention, and a few goose bumps.

One Lumpkin County gardener is businesslike about the caterpillars hatching inside the webs. He burns the ones nearest his produce. But Georgia Forestry Commission rangers say they don’t do much damage to healthy trees.

Lynne Womack is less worried about these insects we can all see than an invisible danger to healthy trees. It’s another insect, called the most destructive pest to ever enter American Forests: The Emerald Ash Borer, coming into north Georgia via infected firewood from the midwest.

The shiny green bug eats ash trees, a popular tree whose strong wood is used for making baseball bats.

In Chicago the ash borer has wiped out the entire ash population.

Georgians know the insect will bring the same damage to Georgia’s smaller number of ash trees. And cost billions to remove and replace.

To slow the advance, the Forestry Commission is placing a quarantine on firewood movement, in the dozen counties where the deadly pest has already begun killing trees.

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