Caterpillars, borers, miners, and cutworms

Caterpillars are the larvae of moths and butterflies and can be very destructive to plants. Many feed on the surface or foliage of plants but others bore into the stems and trunks of plants where they are hidden and often difficult to control. Others, for example cutworms, may spend their days in the ground but come out at night to cut seedlings off at soil level or climb plants and cut and remove leaves. Still other caterpillars form homes by tying leaves together, creating bags from foliage or forming webs. Following are the major groups of caterpillars that are pests of plants. Many caterpillars do little feeding damage and do not warrant control. The adults of caterpillars are moths and butterflies. Some are very showy. Others are not.

  Borers and Miners
  Leaf Tiers, Bagworms and Web Formers
  Surface Feeders