Caterpillars in Florida

What are caterpillars?

Caterpillars are actually the larvae stage of butterflies and moths and appear in many sizes and colors depending on the species.  Most caterpillars have tubular, segmented bodies and up to eight pairs of legs.  They have a tendency to chew on foliage and may cause severe damage to plants and shrubs.  Signs of a caterpillar problem include chewed or notched leaves, greenish fecal pellets on the foliage and of course the sighting of caterpillars themselves.  Common caterpillars in Gainesville, Tampa, Jacksonville, and throughout Florida include:

Sod Web Worm – Larvae are greenish with numerous black spots and are 3/4” long when mature.  Sod web worms are the most common caterpillar attacking turf grass.  They attack all grasses but prefer Bermuda and are least attracted to Bahia. 

Army Worm – Mature larvae are 1 1/2” long and greenish with dark stripes.  Army worms are common on golf courses and other Bermuda grass areas than on home lawns.

Why do I have caterpillars?

Caterpillars are voracious eaters and will feed mainly on leaves of flowering plants and trees which are common elements of Florida landscaping. 

Are they dangerous? 

Caterpillars are generally classified a nuisance pest for their ability to cause severe damage to foliage, plants and lawns.  There are some species of caterpillars in Florida that are considered a stinging or venomous pest.  Victims of these stinging insects may experience mild itching or burning sensations or even a severe allergic reaction requiring medical attention. 

How do I get rid of caterpillars?

Caterpillars can be a difficult pest problem to eradicate due to the fact that homeowners often don’t know what species of caterpillar they’re dealing with.   Some caterpillars have developed resistance to pesticides, so proper identification and treatment is essential.  At McCall Service, we are ready to evaluate the extent of your caterpillar problem and will provide you with a free estimate

How soon can you get here?

At McCall Service we take all pest problems seriously and are committed to helping you as soon as possible.  In most cases we can respond the same or very next day.

How can I prevent this in the future?

Caterpillar problems can be difficult to prevent and that is why many of our clients opt to receive regular service to keep their home or business free of caterpillars and other pests.  Contact us today to learn more about the residential pest control services available in your area.

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