Hi, I’m Kayla from Flagstaff, Arizona. This morning my mom discovered these caterpillars, and we’re rather disturbed by them because we’ve picked up at least 560 of them, and still have more. I was wondering what kind of caterpillars these are, and how we could have gotten so many in a very short time. What should we do with all of them? Thanks.
These are White Lined Sphinx Caterpillars, Hyles lineata. Yours is the third letter in a week from Arizona that mentions huge numbers of these caterpillars. This is a common desert species and every few years there is a population explosion. These are edible caterpillars, but should you choose not to eat them, they will provide a sumptuous feast for birds and other insectivores.