You are here:

Trees/Live Oak Trees in South Florida


I have noticed that my Live Oak trees starting dropping some leaves.  Upon inspection, I found worms eating the leaves, especially the new growth.  I did some research and found out they are called Pink Striped Oakworms.   I picked off the worms as high up as I could reach.  Is there some kind of pesticide spray that I can use to help the situation.  
Thank you.

This is one of the caterpillars that will eat the foliage late in the year and therefore causes little damage to the tree except for the aesthetic of the eaten leaves. They are killed easily with any contact insecticide. The usual recommendation is Bt which is a bacteria type insecticide that when the caterpillar eats the foliage they are killed by the bacteria. It will take a week or so for this insecticide to kill the population. A good contact insecticide would be Orthene. The caterpillars have more than likely done most of the damage they will do this year  and IF you do nothing but what you have done you will not see any lasting effect on the trees. The trees will leaf out next spring and will be fine. Next year you may keep an eye out say in July Aug for any sign of the caterpillars and spray them when they are small and have not defoliated much. I really would not worry over this insect the population varies each year and next year it may not even be visible. Here is a web link to more information.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jim Hyland


I am an expert in Forestry, Forest Entomology, Forest Pest Control, and Forest Health. Extensive knowledge in Identification of insects and diseases of trees. Expert on Bark beetles and other insects that attack forests. Also a Registrated Forester with extensive knowledge in the management and care of forests.


34 years as State Pest Management Chief in a Southern state. Extensive knowledge in Forestry.

BS with major in Forest Management and Entomology
Registered Forester
Certified Pesticide Appicator

©2017 All rights reserved.