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Cecropia Moth

Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia) and its caterpillar often attract attention during the summer months because of their large size. The moth has a wingspread of 5 to 6 inches and is the largest of the silkworm moths in this country. The larva is a greenish caterpillar with bright colored tubercles or warts on its body. It attains a length of 4 inches when full grown.

Cecropia Moths

Cecropia Moths

The caterpillars take most of the summer to mature and are up to four inches long when fully developed. They are bluish green, and along the back there is a pair of yellow projections on each body segment. The first three pairs of tubercles are more conspicuous and are in the form of yellow balls with black spines. The cecropia caterpillars feed mainly on cherry, plum, apple, elderberry, box elder, maple, birch and willow, but will also feed on linden, elm, sassafras and lilac.

The larvae forms a dirty gray-colored pupa or cocoon which resembles a pod. This sac, which hangs between branches, is about four to five inches long and an inch or two wide.

Life Cycle: The larva completes its growth about August and then spins a large cocoon. These cocoons are often found in tall grasses or low shrubbery and tend to have twigs and grasses incorporated into them. They are tan in colour and about 10 cm long. Winter is spent in the cocoon, and after pupation, an adult moth emerges the following May or June. After mating, the moth lays eggs on the leaves of trees and shrubs to start the cycle over again.

place a caterpillar in a box or cage in August. Feed it leaves until it starts to spin a cocoon. Then keep it outside during the winter. This cocoon should be placed outside in a sheltered location for the winter, as a cold treatment is necessary for the proper development of the insect. Adult moths should emerge in May or June. As large larvae are often parasitized, parasitic wasps may emerge from the cocoon instead of an adult moth. Parasites and predators are a natural means of controlling the population. Removing larvae by hand can help to control feeding on valuable ornamentals.

Injury and Management: There is usually little damage from the larvae of the cecropia, because they do not occur in large numbers in any one locale. The larvae feed on a variety of deciduous trees and shrubs including plants in the Rosaceae family, willows, maples and lilacs. The larvae do not bite or sting despite their appearance. Generally control is not necessary. There are a number of natural predators and parasites that work together to keep populations of the cecropia down.

once in a while populations may be large enough to cause damage. If this should occur, either Bt or carbaryl may be used for control. Be sure to follow the manufacturers directions carefully when using any pesticides.

If raise cecropia moths, keep caterpillars in a large container along with an adequate supply of fresh foliage from one of the plants mentioned above.  A stick wedged diagonally through the rearing container will facilitate the formation of the cocoon.  Cocoons that are raised or discovered outside should be left in the winter environment until late April.  They can be stored in a garage or unheated porch but should not be kept in the house through the winter.  There is often less than 50% success rate of moth emergence from cecropia cocoons.


Cecropia Moths Larvae

Another trick is to bring the clothes out after sometime and put them in direct sunlight for some time. The heat of the sun will kill all the moths and larva. If you can’t get natural sunlight, then running the clothes through dryer will also work. But even after all these measures, you still have moth problem in your home, then the best option is to call Beyond Pest Control. Our pest control services will eliminate this problem forever. They can ensure that all moths including Indian meal moths and clothing moths are eliminated from every nook and corner of your home. If you require more information about How to get rid of Cecropia Moth please take a moment and explore the rest of our or visit our


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