Caterpillars devouring Pin Oak leaves

Asked August 12, 2017, 10:11 AM EDT

We just found numerous black-headed, black and orange striped caterpillars on our Pin Oak trees. They were devouring the leaves. Since the trees are still small, we were able to hand pick the insects and squash them under foot. What are they and how should we manage them, since the trees won't always be small?

Howard County Maryland

1 Response

These are orange-striped oakworms.
What you did to control them is fine.
Unless your trees are very small, control is not necessary.
These are native insects on native trees that have evolved together.
While the feeding looks disturbing, it is rarely a problem for the tree, and the caterpillars also are food for birds and other wildlife.