Hickory Tussock Moth Hatched Mid January…
Location: Albany, NY
January 19, 2011 9:29 pm
Hello. When it got cold here, we pulled back our daughter’s curtains only to see a cocoon attached. We did not move it and it became a part of our nightly ritual ”Good Night Cocoon,” etc. (My daughter is 3). My husband & I thought it had not survived and out of nowhere, middle January, it hatched tonight. Presently it’s in a tupperware with holes & some indoor plant clippings. It’s in the 20s outside and so, I can’t release it. What should I do? I have read that it doesn’t eat as an adult, is that true? Thank you for your help.
Signature: Take care, Kim

Hickory Tussock Moth

Hi Kim,
Thanks so much for writing us your sweet email with this image of an adult Hickory Tussock Moth,
Lophocampa caryae.  The big problem with a cocoon or chrysalis in a heated home is that often the adult will emerge indoors in winter when it cannot find a mate.  This happens frequently with captive caterpillars, but in your case, this unfortunate Hickory Tussock Moth wandered into your comfortable, temperate home on its own.  You are correct that many adult moths, especially Giant Silkmoths and Tiger Moths (your Hickory Tussock Moth is in the Tiger Moth family Arctiidae) do not feed as adults.  You can see BugGuide for more information on the Hickory Tussock Moth.

Location: New York

5 Responses to Hickory Tussock Moth

  1. Breanna says:

    So we found one on a shoe inside the house last night. We put it in the house in a jar with some leaves while we slept to try to figue out in the morning where in our huge yard it came from… (100 acres) when we awoke it had pupate d and now we have a cocoon in a leaf and stick!! What is the best thing to do for this sweet moth? Keep it outside in the jar? (I wouldn’t know how to attach it to anything… Or in the basement near the garage so it stays cool?? How long will it stay there? Does it need to be “rained” on…? Does it need sunlight? Etc…
    Thanks for your help!!!

    • bugman says:

      We would recommend that the cocoon be kept where it is exposed to conditions similar to the outdoors. The cocoon should not dry out entirely. A sheltered location would be best. You do not want a glass jar to be filled with rain water, however, being rained on is not a problem. We have not heard of sunlight being a critical factor.

  2. Cat says:

    I found two of these adorable little fuzzies in my house. It has been getting very cold at night so I have kept them so far. Should I let them go? I’ve been finding dead ones out in the yard recently…. What should I do for these adorable little creatures to ensure they are well taken care of?

  3. JLMM says:

    The beginning of March I found a Hickory Tussock laying eggs on a bookcase in my house. I left it alone and eventually I found it dead in a basket. I feel terrible about this and wanted to know if they die after they lay eggs. What is the lifespan of an adult female moth? I have searched every site online and no one clearly answers this question.
    Thank you

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