Flannel Moth Caterpillar

The one-inch-long flannel moth caterpillar is fluffy but definitely not friendly. Don't let this cute Einstein-like visage fool you!
Related To:
flannelmothcaterpillar

flannelmothcaterpillar

Part of its coat includes stinging, or urticating, hairs. Like other stinging caterpillars, the flannel moth caterpillar doesn't sting in the sense that bees and wasps do, but their hairs are connected with glands that contain toxins. There are several types of stinging caterpillars, and their degree of toxicity varies. For some people, the flannel moth caterpillar causes only intense itching or burning; others experience an allergic reaction and need to seek medical attention. In other words, photograph these critters all you want but don't touch!

Horticulturally speaking, the flannel moth caterpillar is not as much of a problem. It feeds on the leaves of oaks, redbuds, maples, hibiscus, and other deciduous trees and shrubs but usually isn't considered a serious pest.

"You normally see just one or two at a time, and the extent of the damage is not usually noticed since it's high up in the trees," says Wendy Wilber, environmental horticultural extension agent for Alachua County, Florida.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Io Moth Caterpillar

Don't let this caterpillar get under your skin. The larval stage of the io moth is capable of inflicting very painful stings.

Gardening Q & A: Summer Snowflake Plant and More

Master gardener Paul James talks about pruning candles, cool plants, and no-hassle manure tea.

How to Garden in Just 15 Minutes a Day

No time to garden? Learn 10 easy tricks to multiply minutes in the garden.

Glossary of Gardening Terms

Whether you're just starting out or need a refresher, brush up on essential gardening terms with this easy glossary.

Seeing Seeds

Late-season seeds provide yet another reason to admire plants. Master gardener Paul James discusses a few of his favorites.

Golden Silk Spider

The golden silk spider (also called banana spider, golden orb weaver) is so named not for the color of its body but for the color of its web.

Beneficial Bug: The Hover Fly

Familiar garden predators like ladybugs and praying mantises often get all the credit for controlling bad bugs. Check out what this largely unsung backyard hero can do.

Tropical, Hardy Hibiscus

Rose of Sharon, a hardy hibiscus, is quite similar to tropical ones and can be grown in many more areas.

What Is Coral Gardening?

Gardens aren't just for backyards. Learn how the rising practice of underwater gardening helps to address coral reef depletion.

Generation Sow

Blogger Amanda Thomsen's new gardening how-to is equal parts sass and sage advice.

1,000+ Photos

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

Follow Us Everywhere

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