‘They’re all over:’ Tussock moth caterpillars are swarming in Jacksonville

You may have noticed an increase in a red-headed furry caterpillar in recent weeks throughout Jacksonville.

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They’re the Tussock Moth caterpillar and you’re not going to want to touch them.

Tussock Moth caterpillars are in season and Jacksonville locals like Danielle Strouble are taking notice.

Strouble and her neighbors captured clips of the critters crawling on their homes and also caught camps of their cocoons lining their roofs.

“They’re all over Mayport and the beaches area. All my friends and I have been talking about them and last night we were jokingly saying let’s call the news and figure out where these things are coming from!” said Strouble.

“They get blown by the wind. They get knocked off the trees. They sometimes get on your residential foliage and they can defoliate shrubs,” said Assistant Professor of Entomology at UF Lauren Diepenbrock.

Deipenbrock said consistent temperatures this winter may be to blame for the hoards of caterpillars.

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