This is a simple looking caterpillar, but found it in our backyard in Charleston SC. Could you please tell us what it is?
Your caterpillar is a yellow-striped armyworm. It turns into a moth.
It is found in eastern states of the US to KS, southeastern Canada, and across the southern US states.
Caterpillars feed on many plants especially those in the vegetable garden as well as alfalfa, corn, cotton, wheat and weeds such as morning glory, and jimsonweed. It is a garden pest.
If you just find a few you can step on them or put them in a container of soapy water.
This insect overwinters as a pupa in the soil.
The adult moth emerges in early April thru May and this year in most areas it was even earlier!
There can be 3-4 generations per year…more in southern states. The life cycle takes 4-6 weeks.