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NC State Extension

Yellow-Necked Caterpillars in Blueberry

Chatham County, July 2003

Description and Biology of Yellow-necked Caterpillars

Beginning in mid-summer, blueberry bushes should be inspected every two weeks. Clusters of older larvae are usually quite visible feeding on the terminal leaves. Since infestations tend to be localized and readily detected in the field, growers can prevent severe defoliation by pruning out branches with caterpillars.

Feeding aggregation of yellow-necked caterpillars
defoliating a blueberry plant. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Defoliated blueberry stem. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Yellow-necked caterpillar demonstrating
defensive posture. Photo by Debbie Roos.