How to Manage Pests
UC Pest Management Guidelines
Scientific Name: Estigmene acrea
(Reviewed 4/17, updated 4/17)
In this Guideline:
DESCRIPTION OF THE PEST
Early instars of the saltmarsh caterpillar can be found in various shades of yellow-brown with long, dark hairs. Older caterpillars are densely covered with black and red hairs and often have yellow stripes running lengthwise down their bodies. Adult moths have white wings with numerous black spots on the upper surface and yellow on the undersides.
Saltmarsh caterpillar is rare, but serious pest of lettuce and other crops in Low Desert areas of Southern California. Larvae feed on leaves and cause economic losses.
To prevent saltmarsh caterpillar infestation in lettuce:
UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Lettuce
Insects and Other Arthropods
E. T. Natwick, UC Cooperative Extension, Imperial County
Acknowledgment for contributions to Insects and Mites:N. C. Toscano, Entomology, UC Riverside