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Friendly caterpillars invade eastern Carolina

By Ellen Bacca
Published On: Oct 01 2013 05:27:50 PM CDT
JAMES CITY, CRAVEN COUNTY -

Experts say the fall webworm has come back with big numbers this year. The fuzzy white caterpillars aren't dangerous but have been spotted in the hundreds.

The fall webworm is native to North Carolina. Experts from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension office say the big turn out this fall is because of the tame weather this past year.

They say the worm is harmless, and hardly ever does permanent damage to trees. The bag worm starts its life in web-like tents build in trees. These bags are packed with worms and are incredibly protective and will hold back pesticide. They say the best way to reduce the number of worms is to tear open the tents with a stick to expose the worms to birds.

The Fall webworm will eventually turn into a white moth called the Fall webworm moth.

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