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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Insect Nest - Black Caterpillars?


Curious Critters
Curious Critters  
About 2 weeks ago, I noticed a small yellowish nest hidden at the top right hand side corner above my front screen door. At first glance, I thought maybe old insulation or something that I just had never noticed before. There also seemed to be strands of webbing (very faint and very little) around this yellow nest. At that time upon first discovering it, nothing seemed odd and nothing seemed 'alive'. I wasn't even sure if it was a nest. Today however, I happened to walk out my front door, and was greeted by a silk type strand laced with little tiny black caterpillar type insects. I took a step away from the door, turned back and noticed there are hundreds of these little black buggers, making their way down the brick wall and about a few hundred huddled around that same yellow nest.  What are they? Should I be concerned if they get into the house #I have two cats who like to watch birds from the screen door and I have two small children too# and how or what can I do to safely remove and dispose of the next. Currently, the most I've done was use a straw broom to sweep away whatever ones had made their way down the wall, but I left the nest and all those around it alone.


You are exactly correct, these are newly hatch moth larvae. The egg mass is covered with strands of silk. They are completely harmless. The moth that laid the egg mass was probably attracted to this spot by outdoor lighting.

Jack DeAngelis  

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.


20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.


Ph.D. in Entomology

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