How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Pest identification and confirmation—Common caterpillars

Here are six common, often confusing, caterpillars found in backyards:

Distinctive looping movement;
2 prolegs

Corn earworm
Corn earworm
(Tomato fruitworm)
Distinct stripes with
short hairs

Velvety faint stripe
Imported cabbageworm
Velvety; faint stripe

Varigated cutworm
Variegated cutworm
Hairless; bumpy skin

Beet armyworm
Beet armyworm
Nearly hairless,
striped greenish

Western yellow-striped armyworm
Western yellow-striped armyworm
Dark colored, hairless with yellow stripe

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2016 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /PMG/GARDEN/VEGES/PESTS/ID/idcaterpillar.html revised: September 20, 2016. Contact webmaster.