News Article for August 22, 2011
I have had reports of red-headed azalea caterpillars eating the foliage of azaleas. This is an annual event. They arrive around late summer and stay through September. They are constant eaters and can strip an azalea bush of leaves almost overnight.
When they first hatch, the caterpillars will be magenta in color with long gray hairs. As they mature they will turn black with broken white or yellow lines and will have a very distinct red head and tail.
I would control red-headed azalea caterpillars with an insecticide such as Orthene, Sevin, Spinosid or a pyrethroid. You can add a little surfactant or soap to the mix to insure that the insecticide sticks to the caterpillars.
Red-headed azalea caterpillars are specific to azaleas; however, I have seen them on blueberries, so if you have blueberries you might want to scout them also.
For more information on these or related topics contact Kenny at 225-686-3030 or visit our website at www.lsuagcenter.com/livingston.
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