Issue 4, May 15, 2009

Euonymus caterpillar

Euonymus caterpillar has been reported by the Morton Arboretum in northeastern Illinois. This insect attacks primarily European euonymus, not being a problem on the more common burning bush or winged euonymus nor on the various vine or groundcover species. The insect is not usually found south of Kankakee.

Euonymus caterpillar

The insect appears as yellowish to white, slender caterpillars with rows of black spots and living in masses of leaves webbed together. Fully grown caterpillars are about one inch long. Damage can end up being extensive with high percentages of defoliation, so be watchful for small infestations. Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Dipel, Thuricide) as well as other labeled insecticides are effective. Be sure to get penetration of the spray through the webbing to achieve a high level of control.--Phil Nixon and Morton Arboretum

Phil Nixon

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