Q: I have caterpillars with red faces, red feet and yellow-striped black bodies on my azaleas. They’ve eaten so much of one bush that you can see straight through it! Is there any type of pesticide I can use?
A: The red feet give them away. You have a group of ^Dantana major^, otherwise known as azalea caterpillars. If you thump a nearby branch, this caterpillar will hold both ends of its body aloft to make a “C” shape. Any product containing Bt (Green Light BT Worm Killer, etc) will control these caterpillars safely. If you are interested in identifying caterpillars as a hobby, “Caterpillars of Eastern North America” by David Wagner (Princeton University Press, $29.95) is a marvelous reference, filled with colorful pictures.
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