Caterpillars have chewing mouthparts. Adults have
siphoning mouths. Caterpillars will feed on the
tender part of the leaves.
Pest Status, Damage: Caterpillars produce
loose webbing around leaves and branches in which
they feed on leaves; produce unsightly "nests" and
cause loss of leaves and some plant stress;
hairs on larvae may cause skin irritation.
Pyralid moth - Adult
web-producing caterpillar is the genista
caterpillar, Uresiphita (=Tholeria)
reversalis (Guenee) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae),
commonly found on Texas mountain laurel.
Caterpillars of this and other web-producing
species are less hairy and lack the double row of
black dots on the top of each body segment
characteristic of the fall webworm.
The most pervasive insect we
see in Central Texas in the spring is the WORM.
Some call them
caterpillars, and the worms will come to Central
Texas. Guaranteed !.
Worms love the tasty new growth on these
particular plants, so damage first appears on the
bright green new shoots every spring. If you let
the worms live too long, you'll start to see webs
in your plants. Once you see the webs it is
harder to get rid of the pest, so start early if
you can. Preventative maintenance is best
Caterpillars grow up to 1 ║ inches in
length, they are green to orange with black and
white hairs. Caterpillars are less hairy compared
with fall webworms and lack the double row of
black dots on the top of each body segment.
producing caterpillar that attacks Texas laurel,
crape myrtle, honeysuckle, and Laburnum.
Larvae defoliate as well as spin webs.
generations a year in the south. Eggs are laid in
overlapping clusters on the undersides of leaves.
They pupate in thin white cocoons attached to
buildings as well as vegetation.
The best way to treat your plants for worms is with
Bacillus Thuringiensis or Bt. (
a biological control agent that only
targets and kills the pest ).
Also known in garden centers under the brand name
Thuricide, Cry-Maxx or Despel. It is an organic
product, though use standard application precautions
just to be safe. It targets kills caterpillars
(worms) and not most beneficial insects.