Yellownecked Caterpillar

Yellownecked Caterpillar

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Common names: Yellownecked Caterpillar

Scientific name: Datana ministra

Region: This caterpillar if found throughout North America.

Life cycle: This insect produces one generation each year and hibernates as a pupa in the soil.

Physical Description: This 1 1/2 inch long caterpillar has yellow and black longitudinal stripes and is covered with long white hairs.  The adult moth is pale brown with four dark, thin lines on its wings that span 1 to 2 inches.

Feeding characteristics: This pest attacks apple, apricot, blackberry, blueberry, cherry, peach, pecan, pear, plum, and quince plants by destroying leaf tissue and can defoliate entire branches.  Their feeding is also characterized by the fact that they feed in compact groups or colonies.

Controls: You usually can control this caterpillar by handpicking them from the plants.  You might even try shaking the plant and picking up the fallen larvae.

For larger infestations, dust with Diatomaceous earth or apply Bacillus thuringiensis.

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