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.

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.

How to Garden in Just 15 Minutes a Day

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

Dispelling Common Gardening Myths

Unravel a few homespun green-thumb myths with the help of some expert gardeners.

How to Be a Master Gardener

Become a plant boss and start the process of advancing your green education.

What Would Don Draper Plant?

It's doubtful that the "Mad Men" hunk spent his mandatory leave of absence in the garden. But if he did, here's what he might have planted.

Generation Sow

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

Stag Beetle

Not considered a pest, this beetle lives on decaying wood in tree stumps and fallen logs.

Community Gardens: What are the Rules of the Rows?

Community gardens can be great ways to grow food and improve your community. But certain behavior is expected. Learn more about community garden etiquette.

Decipher Plant Descriptions

Confused on what those gardening catalog words mean? Learn how to decipher plant descriptions.

9 Reasons Why You Should Never, Ever Garden Naked

Before you celebrate World Naked Gardening Day, consider the consequences. 

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

What's New in Outdoors

Follow Us Everywhere

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