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September 2, 1998

Woollybear caterpillars are starting to become common throughout the state as it gets late into the summer. Although at this time these caterpillars are mostly feeding on lambsquarter, they will soon strip these weeds of foliage and move on to flowers and other landscape plants. Yellow woollybears are covered with blond hairs, saltmarsh caterpillars have orangish red hairs, and the isabella moth larvae have bands of red and black hairs. Once they move onto desired plants, they usually are too large to be effectively controlled with insecticides. In some cases, handpicking the larvae off of the plants may be an option, but in most cases the client needs to realize that trying to control these caterpillars this late in the season is not cost effective.

Author: Phil Nixon


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