Pest Type: Insect
Damage to Plant: Leaves are chewed from the treetop down, sometimes to such an extent that the tree is defoliated, fruit is scarred.
From one year to the next, tussock moth caterpillars may go from troublesome, to entirely absent, or vice versa. Both eastern and western species exist; all are colorful, l inch long caterpillars with long bristles, spots along the length of the body, and a quartet of tufts.
Life Cycle: Wingless female moths emerge from cocoons in midsummer; they mate, lay hairy egg clusters on discarded cocoons in trees, and die. The eggs overwinter and hatch in spring. There are one to three generations each year.