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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

Other Insects and Spiders

In addition to mosquitos, termites and rodents, the Board offers services and information to assist citizens with the identification and control of other insects and spiders.

Identify Your Bug

The New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board staff has a number of experts on different kinds of insects who can help citizens identify unknown bugs. Citizens with an unidentified bug or bug problem can request assistance with identification of insects or animal droppings from Board staff here.

Fact Sheets

View fact sheets made by the New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board with information on common insects and spiders in the New Orleans area.

Other Insects

Stinging Caterpillars

Figure 1: Stinging CaterpillarLife Cycle

New Orleanians recognize the “stinging” caterpillar that feed on the leaves of Live Oak trees (left). The caterpillars hatch from eggs laid in the tops of these trees the previous fall.  As the caterpillars grow larger they occasionally drop out of the trees or crawl down the trucks to the ground to complete their development by burrowing into the soil. There they transform into pupae and develop into adult moths.  Their common name “Buck moth” was given since they often emerge at the beginning of deer hunting season.

Prevention

Spraying an infested tree need to be done early in the season when the caterpillars are small.  Contact local tree companies or the local non-profit Parkway Partners, which offers limited reduced-cost spraying through its Save Our Trees program.

Wrapping a tree in foil will not prevent the caterpillars from infesting a tree since the adult moths fly to the tree tops to lay their eggs. Oak trees generally recover from a heavy infestation of caterpillars and the season usually lasts from a few weeks to 2 months.

Stings

The caterpillars have multi-branched urticating spines, which deliver a sting when touched. Adhesive tape can be used to pull out some of the broken spines from the sting area and washing the area with soap and water may help remove the irritating venom. Application of an ice pack or baking soda may help to reduce pain and prevent swelling. See a physician if severe reactions occur.

Fire Ants

The Board treats green spaces including parks and parade routes for red imported fire ants (RIFA). These ants can seriously injure people and cause a terrible nuisance during Mardi Gras and other public events.

 
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Last updated: 11/5/2013 9:47:44 AM

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