Subject: Centipede? In SoCal
Location: southern california
March 23, 2016 5:58 pm
Hi! my wife and I just got a new puppy, and as we were taking him out to the restroom he saw the attached bugs in our tree. we have noticed them dead on our front porch and crawling on our fence as well. Theres ~100 in the tree. We just need it identified to see if its poisonous and how to rid them of our yard so our pup doesn’t have the opportunity to eat them! Its spring, in southern california, been hot the past week.
While we do have Centipedes in southern California, your images depict Mourning Cloak Caterpillars, and though they may deliver a slight sting if carelessly handled, they are harmless. There is no need to eradicate them from your tree. They may climb to the eaves of your home in groups to form chrysalides. Mourning Cloak Caterpillars will eventually metamorphose into lovely adult Mourning Cloak butterflies. Some years, when conditions are favorable, the Mourning Cloak Caterpillars can be quite numerous. Their local native host is willow, but they have adapted to feeding on the leaves of Chinese elm in California.