Caterpillar Hunter and Oak Leaf Roller Outbreak

Big Beetle in FL
Location: Tampa, Fl
March 27, 2011 4:13 pm
Hi Bugman,
I’ve been living in Florida the last 8 years and never seen this kind of bug. Maybe it’s the size that has me flustered as it’s rather large at over 1 inch long. It scared my wife in the garage and we are in The Tampa Bay area.
Signature: CT

Caterpillar Hunter

Dear CT,
This is one of the Caterpillar Hunters in the genus
Calosoma.  They are important predators that help to control caterpillar populations.

I’m glad I asked and the Calasoma will come in handy. We’ve had a a very horrible webworm problem in the Tampa area this year (pictures attached). That accumulation of worms on the trunk is from one and a half days of worms.
Thank you, Cesar Tioseco

Oak Leaf Roller Outbreak

Hi Cesar,
Thanks for writing back with your images of the Caterpillar infestation.  We believe these are probably the same Caterpillars that we have received several letters regarding thus far this year from Florida.  Our first letter arrived March 7 and the caterpillars were identified as Oak Leaf Rollers,
Argyrotaenia quercifoliana.  The Texas A&M University website has information on these Caterpillars.  For various reasons, there are periodic outbreaks of certain insects that create media attention and cause concern, and then all is forgotten until the creatures reappear several years later in prodigious numbers again.  We are curious about the control method that is documented in your photographs.  Is this a sticky tape product specifically designed to control insects on trees?

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