Black caterpillar with yellow/orange stripes on fruit trees

sic_transit_gloria(z5 KS)April 19, 2010

For the last two seasons, I am finding these slightly fuzzy black caterpillars with three yellow/orange stripes down their backs (the length of their bodies). These pesky creatures are defoliating apples/pears with abandon. They don't seem to bother the cherries or peaches, but maybe they just haven't discovered them yet.

Anyway, what are these? The nearest thing I can find is the Orange Striped Oakworm. It looks similar to this. Anyone else from Kansas/Mizzou/NE have these critters? If so, what did you use to control them?

Unfortunately, they are really stunting my trees' growth since they eat nearly all of the new leaves.

Thanks for any help that can be provided.

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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

The physical description and damage sounds like Tent caterpillars, but they get their name from the silk shelter (tent) that they make as a group. Do you see anything like that?


    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 12:11PM
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sic_transit_gloria(z5 KS)

There are no tents; just leaf damage and lots of it. There are tent caterpillars in the area, of course, but they seem to come on later in the summer. Maybe these are young caterpillars? They're, at most, 2" in length. They also don't seem as fuzzy as the tent caterpillars I've seen.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 12:54PM
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