Hickory Tussock Moth

Dear Bug Man,
My son found some Hickory Tussock caterpillars last fall, which he put in his "bug box". We fed them and provided mulch, etc. One died, but the other survived and has been in its cocoon all winter. I have read they emerge in May or June. Is there any special care once they emerge and how soon should it be let out? And do these moths cause alot of damage to trees?
Thank you,

Dear Judy,
The Hickory Tussock Moth, Halisidota caryae, rarely is plentiful enough to do major damage to the Hickory trees it feeds upon. The adults, like many Tiger Moths, do not feed as adults. You can release the moth after its wings have fully expanded. It will fly when it is ready.

2 thoughts on “Hickory Tussock Moth”

  1. 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!!!

  2. 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


Leave a Comment