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Spring Cankerworm, Inchworm (Paleacrita vernata)

Order: Lepidoptera (le-pid-OP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Geometridae (jee-o-MET-rid-ee) (Info)
Genus: Paleacrita
Species: vernata


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Barling, Arkansas
Sag Harbor, New York
Stilwell, Oklahoma
Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania

Members' Notes:


On May 28, 2007, clehmann from Sag Harbor, NY wrote:

Here in the Hamptons this has become such a pest that it has defoliated several large stands of trees (oak being its favorite). Shortly after these guys cacoon, the gypsy moths come out and finish up. Between these pests and the multimillionares who like golf course style lawns, void of all biodiversity; who cut down what's left of the forest; we're going to be out of luck. I have also seen a greater resistance to pesticides such as Carboryl; if there is some other method besides this and the bacteria BT, PLEASE HELP!


On Jul 27, 2006, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Despite the cute children's song about inchworms, Paleacrita vernata is a serious pest in the eastern U.S., defoliating deciduous trees including birch, elm, maple, and cherry, and numerous other trees and shrubs.

In early July, the larvae finish feeding and are ready to pupate. They can be seen crawling down silken threads to the ground, where they prepare cocoons in the soil. The adult moths emerge at night from January through March to mate.