caterpillars eating leaves, help!

Asked September 16, 2019, 7:02 PM EDT

Hi, this caterpillar is eating the leaves from my common serviceberry! i finally had time to look closely and picked off the caterpillars. is there anything i can do to help my tree? do i need to cut back the stems where the leaves are gone? i have also attached the top and bottom of the leaves. anything i should do for them at this point in the season? thank you. i am in baltimore county. in the water.

Montgomery County Maryland insect or spider id pest insects and mites

1 Response

Hi - These are a type of Datana caterpillar, the juvenile stage of a yellow-necked caterpillar moth. https://www.marylandbiodiversity.com/viewSpecies.php?species=7257

Many types of caterpillars are feeding in shade trees at this time of year. You did the right thing by just picking them off. By this time of the year, trees have stored enough carbohydrates (food reserves) to be able to sustain some damage and still put out healthy new growth next spring. Here is more information about caterpillars and shade trees. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/caterpillars-trees

It looks like your serviceberry has some feeding damage from lace bugs. They are a common problem in serviceberries. Here is information about them and what you can do. The trees will drop their leaves soon, so monitor your trees early next season. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lace-bugs-trees-shubs

Christa