Caterpillars

small hairy caterpillar

Damages Landscapes

Nuisance Pest

Venemous

Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. They can appear in a variety of different sizes or colors, depending on the species. Most caterpillars have tubular bodies that are segmented and up to eight pairs of legs. Caterpillars are most known for chewing on foliage and as a source of damage to plants, shrubs, and other garden plants. If you see multiple caterpillars as well as chewed leaves or greenish fecal pellets, you may have a caterpillar problem. There a few common caterpillars in Florida (including in Gainesville, Tampa, and Jacksonville) that include:

  • Sod web worms, which are greenish caterpillars that are around three-quarters of an inch when mature. Sod web worms are a common source of damage to turf grasses, including Bermuda grass.

  • Army worms are green and have dark stripes. They are common on golf courses and other areas with Bermuda grass. They are not commonly found on home lawns.

Why do I have caterpillars?

If you have Florida landscaping that includes flowering plants and trees, you probably have caterpillars. They are voracious and will feed mainly on the leaves of these plants.

Are caterpillars dangerous? 

Caterpillars are usually classified as a nuisance pest because of the damage they can cause to lawns, plants, and foliage. There are some species of Florida caterpillars that are stinging and venomous. Victims of these insects may experience mild irritation, itching, or burning sensations. In some cases, a severe allergic reaction requiring medical attention may occur.

How do I get rid of caterpillars?

In a lot of cases, dealing with a caterpillar problem can be frustrating for homeowners because you’re not sure what kind of pest you’re dealing with. At McCall Service, we can evaluate the extent of your caterpillar problem and determine the best course of pest control treatment with a free estimate. In many cases, we can respond to your request for service the same day or the day after.

How can I prevent caterpillars in the future?

Regular pest control service is the best way to prevent caterpillar problems and other pest infestations. To get started, contact us today to learn more about our wide variety of residential pest control services for your area.

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