What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: strange black white yellow caterpillars are invading my yard
Location: south eastern Arizona
August 31, 2014 10:11 pm
This is the second year my yard has literally been taken over by hundreds of caterpillars so many that when you step out side onto my porch it sounds like it’s raining due to the unbelievable amount of caterpillars.normally I wouldn’t worry but within the last two years I’ve been trying to find our exactly what kind of caterpillar thus is and if they are harmful in any way please help!
Signature: concerned/curious

Davis' Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Davis’ Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Dear concerned/curious,
This is a Davis’ Tussock Moth Caterpillar,
Halysidota davisii, which we matched to an image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, the range is:  “Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and northwestern Texas,” but there is no information regarding periodic outbreaks of large populations, though that is an occurence that is frequent with other species of Tussock Moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Southeastern Arizona

9 Responses to Davis’ Tussock Moth Caterpillar

  1. Karen says:

    We are located in Sierra Vista, AZ and this is the second year our Fruitless Mulberry has been “full” of these caterpillars. ID’ing has proved difficult, very glad to have found this post!

  2. parla says:

    This caterpillar (by the thousands) has totally defoliated our mulberry tree and our neighbors tree also. It is now in our apple and peach tree! How long does the infestation last? I have never seen this before in Sierra Vista,Az

  3. John says:

    I have been trying to identify these fuzzy caterpillars properly for years as I have two non-fruit bearing mulberry trees that are loaded with these. For several years I just ignored them then finally determined they were the casue of my allergic reactions; sever reactions to even touching where one has been. They got so bad they clogged up my gutters and my roof was covered with them. Sprayed the two trees a year ago and had one summer without them and now they are back. I live in Northern Arizona and would like to know what to use to get rid of them or I will have no choice except to cut the two trees down.

    • bugman says:

      We do not provide extermination advice.

    • Shannon says:

      We are dealing with the same problem! Our non fruit mulberry tree is literally being eaten to death ! These things come by the thousands and I feel like it’s the movie gremlins! As soon as we get rain they multiply! Help !! What can we get to kill them all !

  4. Shannon says:

    HELP!!!! We live in Northern Az and have a huge non fruit bearing mulberry tree . I am besides myself on what to do ! These things come by what seems to be billions ! My entire front of the house looks like we painted it black! I’ve tried everything to get rid of them! Each year more and more come! Birds won’t eat them and no poison has worked ! I’ve tried dish soap,garlic,salt,cinnamon,bleach and stuff from Home Depot! They attach to my front door and drop down when you come in or out! Our car windshields covered as well! Please if anyone has suggestions im willing to try anything!

    • john says:

      I have them as well this summer and I am allergic to them. The trees, non-fruit bearing mulberry are the problem, and the only advice I got here was they do not give advice.

      • bugman says:

        The editorial staff of WTB? takes issue with your comment that “they do not give advice.” We provide plenty of information and advice at no charge on our website. What we do not provide is extermination advice. There are numerous extermination companies that will give you advice on how to separate you from your money in their efforts to unsuccessfully solve your problems with Tussock Moth caterpillars.

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