Polk County Conservation

Woolly Bear Caterpillars

  • I haven’t seen any woolly bears anywhere this fall. Is this something to be concerned about?

    Now that you mention it, I haven’t seen any either. Woolly bear caterpillar populations vary from year to year for several reasons, weather being one of them. The extreme drought this year probably had an impact on their numbers. I wouldn’t be too concerned as they will most likely rebound in the coming years. If you do happen to see one, the size of the brown band does not indicate what kind of winter we’ll have. Woolly bears survive the winter by creating natural antifreeze in their bodies and freezing solid. When spring arrives the woolly bear caterpillar spins a cocoon and transforms into the Isabella Tiger Moth.

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    Administration Office
    12130 NW 128th St
    Granger, IA 50109

    P: (515) 323-5300
    F: (515) 323-5354

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