Walnut Caterpillar

In some southern states, this hairy critter is a hazard to pecan, walnut and hickory trees.
Furry Crawling Caterpillar

Furry Crawling Caterpillar

Related To:

This hairy critter is the second larval stage of the walnut caterpillar, a sometimes serious defoliator of walnut, pecan and hickory trees.

Walnut caterpillars stay together after hatching, feeding as a group on the leaves of the host trees. Larvae in the first stage are dark red with white stripes along the length of the body; they typically skeletonize the leaves. The second stage eats the whole leaf, including the petiole.

In some parts of the country, walnut caterpillars rarely have a significant impact. In others, including Texas, they're considered serious pests, causing damage to not only nut trees but also oak, willow and some other woody shrubs. There, two generations of walnut caterpillars per growing season, and the second is usually larger and more problemtaic. Chemical controls — spraying the early stage and instars — is considered necessary.

When disturbed, walnut caterpillars arch their front and back ends in a defensive posture, emitting a chemical that's considered irritating to the caterpillar's usual predators.

Keep Reading

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.

On TV

Island Life

7:30am | 6:30c

Flip or Flop

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30pm | 11:30c

Flip or Flop

1pm | 12c

Flip or Flop

1:30pm | 12:30c

Flip or Flop

2:30pm | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

Flipping Texas

11pm | 10c

Flip or Flop

11:30pm | 10:30c

Flip or Flop

12am | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Flip or Flop

2:30am | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.