Pest Profile

Woolly Bear Caterpillar
Pyrrharctia isabella
  • Woolly Bear Caterpillar
  • Woolly Bear Caterpillar
  • Wooly bear close up feeding

Pest Description

Woolybears (e.g, Saltmarsh caterpillars, Eristigme acrea, and Grammia sp., pictured) and are very hairy (woolly), yellowish or brown caterpillars ranging up to 2 inches in length. Populations are often overestimated because the larvae and damage are very striking. The smaller larvae often are observed feeding in groups on the underside of the leaves which quickly become skeletonized and die. The larger, very showy, larvae tend to feed exposed on the upper leaf surfaces. In 2006 and 2013, scattered populations in Kansas developed to levels justifying control.

Source of information

J.P. Michaud:

Pest photo source

Wendy Johnson, KSU Entomology