Due to the exceptionally mild winter this year, the Black Olive trees in Coral Gables are experiencing a relatively rare outbreak of the "bungee caterpillar." These extremely small caterpillars feed on the flowers in the Black Olives, are often seen suspended on silk-like thread (bungee), and should disappear within two to three weeks as they transition from caterpillar to small gray moth (nocturnal butterfly).
While they are a nuisance, they do not pose a health and safety threat to humans or animals. The City is not using insecticides to control the caterpillars. The use of chemicals in this case would do more harm than good for the general public, so it's best to let nature take its course over the next few weeks. The most effective home remedy to clear them away from cars and walkways is to spray them with water from a garden hose.
In addition, the City has finished this year's Black Olive staining treatment study. Thanks to all the concerned residents who responded to our request for participating. For more information, contact Pwlandscapeservices@coralgables.com.