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Tiffany Means

A Rare White Woolly Worm Sighting!

By September 4, 2013

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This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to catch a glimpse at what could be in store for my region this winter. How did I do that? Why, I saw a white woolly worm on my back porch!

White woollies (which appear sandy-colored) are rarer than their orange and black "cousins." Similar to their relatives, they too are weather prognosticators, except whereas orange and black woollies predict winter temperatures (black bands signal cold, while orange/brown bands indicate milder weather), white woolly worms are said to predict winter snowfall. Spotting one is supposedly a strong indicator that heavier than average snows--or even a blizzard--can be expected in the region during the winter season.

Have you seen any woolly worms yet where you live? Ever seen a white woolly before? Share your woolly worm sighting stories in the comments.


Image credit: Tiffany Means


September 14, 2013 at 9:03 am
(1) shirley lindsay says:

sept. 13, 2013 saw an all white wooly worm in london, ohio

September 14, 2013 at 7:59 pm
(2) Sharon says:

I have seen at least 1 all white woolly worm every day this week near Goshen. I hope that doesn’t mean 5 or 6 blizzards or even really heavy snows!!! I’m just hoping I have seen the same one crossing the road near my house each day!

September 16, 2013 at 10:02 pm
(3) Marcella Tolliver says:

spotted an all white wooly worm in our back yard a couple of weeks ago. I never had seen one of these in my entire life. It was an amazing site. I spoke of this to my Mom and she told me that she had seen the same thing. Guess we are in store for a bad winter!!!

September 16, 2013 at 10:09 pm
(4) Marcella Tolliver says:

Saw my first all white woolly worm in our back yard a couple of weeks ago. It was an amazing thing to see. I had never seen one so I was quiet fascinated by it. I told my mother about it and she told me that she had seen one recently also. I guess we are in for a rough winter in our ares which is West Virginia.

September 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm
(5) Jan Winek says:

It’s 9/19/2013 Today there were maybe a dozen white wooly worms
on my car. I don’t recall seeing these before so I was trying to find
out what they turn into. Are they bad to have around? If they are a weather forecaster we are in for alot of snow this winter.

September 21, 2013 at 11:15 am
(6) weather says:

Like many of you, I had never seen a white woolly until this year. Neither had I seen a solid black woolly, but I spotted one of these in my back yard just last weekend. (Black=cold temperatures) According to these signs, sounds like the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast could be in for a fairly cold and snowy upcoming winter.

For those of you wondering about the insects themselves – they hatch in the fall, overwinter in caterpillar form (they actually freeze solid), then thaw and emerge as Isabella Tiger moths in the spring.

September 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm
(7) Jen says:

Saw 3 white woolly worms today in Franklin TN

September 21, 2013 at 9:55 pm
(8) Brad says:

Saw a white woolly worm today in Georgetown KY while out squirrel hunting.

September 23, 2013 at 8:47 pm
(9) Pam says:

I’m in NC & I’ve seen two white wooly worms on my deck during the past week. They are white with black stripe down the center of the back. First time I’ve seen white wooly worms.

September 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm
(10) Angie says:

I live in Union City, Tn. and we have a large tree out back and it’s been literally covered with white wooly worms. My German Shepherds house is covered in their webs.. I was amazed at how many there were.

September 26, 2013 at 12:39 am
(11) Annie says:

Found a white wooly worm on the inside of my shirt today. ( I have no idea how it got there) but I wasn’t pleased. Nor am I at the thought of a heavy snowfall this winter! (Sept 2013)

September 26, 2013 at 10:44 pm
(12) weather says:

O my goodness! Sounds like he wanted to make sure you didn’t miss the message!

September 27, 2013 at 8:16 pm
(13) JND says:

I live in Columbus, OH and saw a white wooly worm while weeding one of my flowerbeds. I used to love finding the orange and black woolies when I was little, but this is my first time seeing a white one. Will it be a bad winter for us? We shall see!

September 28, 2013 at 2:28 pm
(14) Bob says:

Have seen two white woolies in the last two days. Live at 3400 feet elevation.

September 28, 2013 at 6:26 pm
(15) Hortense says:

Found an all-white wooly today in Western Maryland on my porch railing. It’s beautiful!

September 29, 2013 at 8:47 am
(16) Maranda says:

Saw one on 9/3/13 in western north carolina. Was the first one I have ever seen.

September 29, 2013 at 12:52 pm
(17) Tiffany says:

We have them everywhere in Hendersonville, TN. I can walk out side now and they are all over my deck and crawling on the gutters and unfortunately many dead ones floating in our pool. Never seen so many at a time.

September 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm
(18) Bill says:

In Crossnore nc, 6 white wholly worn sightings vs 1 black and 1 brown in one day.

September 30, 2013 at 8:27 am
(19) mjohnson says:

Yes !!! I have seen many white woolly worms this year and no black ones thus far. They are all over my garden and the surrounding trees. I have not ever seen the white ones before here in East Tennessee. I wonder what that means ??

October 1, 2013 at 11:46 am
(20) nina franco says:

If they are rare and predict snow totals we are in big trouble–my yard is covered with them. Never saw them before but this year they are everywhere, I have to be careful where I walk.

October 2, 2013 at 11:20 am
(21) bt says:

my yard is covered with them. If you try to knock them off, the hairs are like barbs and stick to the skin,very irratating. we live in Southern Illinois

October 2, 2013 at 11:25 am
(22) bt says:

If white woolley worms are a sign of alot of snow, are we going to have multiple feet of it? I’m seeing 30 to 40 a day. had never seen one until this week

October 2, 2013 at 3:22 pm
(23) Janet Belcher says:

I have seen several white wooley worms here in Northeast Pennsylvania for several weeks, just now I saw one in the driveway while moving my car. I guess that means we are going to have more snow than usual.

October 4, 2013 at 11:58 am
(24) Scott says:

Cleveland Ohio have already seen 2 white ones. I seem to recall some years ago seeing white ones. I believe that year we did get an above average snowfall. I caused quite a problem with the rivers flooding that spring when it was combined with rain.

October 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm
(25) Rhoda Fitzsimmons says:

I saw an all white wooly worm at Alpine Lake in Preston County, WV last weekend.
This is the first time I have ever seen one.

October 8, 2013 at 7:04 pm
(26) tucan says:

i saw a white wooly worm today. As far as i know it is the first i have ever seen.

October 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm
(27) emily says:

Saw a solid white wooly worm on my deck today. 10/10/13. It was beautiful. I’m in Clemmons north Carolina!

October 22, 2013 at 11:11 am
(28) Francine Greene says:

I have seen two solid black woolly worms and one solid white woolly worm in the past month, in Troy N.C. So does that mean we can expect a very cold and very snowy winter?

October 26, 2013 at 12:34 am
(29) weather says:

Wow, another sighting in NC…if folklore holds true, there’ll be snow a-plenty for us in the southeast.

October 23, 2013 at 9:07 pm
(30) Mary Ann Powell Kirby says:

I saw a white woolly worm this morning and took a picture of it! I live in Reidville, SC dated October 23, 2013 I have several Photos up lose of this Pure White Wooly with a black head!
I thought that my husband needed to tie a fly which emulated this wooly for both of us Flyfishing Out West!

October 26, 2013 at 12:31 am
(31) weather says:

Glad you were able to nab a picture. You wouldn’t think it, but woolly worms are fast movers!

October 25, 2013 at 11:19 am
(32) Allison says:

Wetumpka, AL (October 25, 2013) I have seen quite a few white woolly worms on my upstairs balcony at the lake over the past 2 weeks…first time I have ever seen these.

October 26, 2013 at 11:39 pm
(33) Lynn says:

My very first sightings of white wooly worms also! Have seen 2 in the last 2 weeks in Elbert County, GA (Northeast GA). Took a good photo of one. Sure hope we have some good snowfalls this year. Time will tell.

October 29, 2013 at 6:48 pm
(34) Angelia Williams says:

My daughter has had a lot of thick wooly worms this year in Dahlonega, GA. Today she found a solid white one on her on her porch rail. I had never she a white one, but I know before we had our last blizzard here in Ringgold, GA we had seen a lot of wooly worms. This may be a rough winter. I love snow but not the ice.

October 30, 2013 at 3:28 pm
(35) Cynthia says:

I live in Georgia (Atlanta area) I witnessed my first White Wooly Worm yesterday! I have never seen one before. Does that mean blizzard for Georgia, repeat of 1993?

November 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm
(36) Lindsay says:

I spotted a white woolly worm today in Gastonia, NC. He was sandy colored with a black head. I have never saw one before, I have heard they are poisonous but I dont know how true that is.

November 7, 2013 at 7:17 pm
(37) pop says:

I just talked to a guy the other day about white wooly worms…never having seen them..I was incredulous. Well, I saw my own in my yard yesterday…southern Indiana.

November 7, 2013 at 10:36 pm
(38) mel says:

Wow so many first sightings this year. Me too about a month ago i saw a white wooly. It was bright white. Mabey white as snow.hope so we have not had a good winter in burlington NC since january 2000

November 7, 2013 at 10:43 pm
(39) melissa says:

I saw one about a month ago in my garden. Beautiful bright white almost like snow. This year is the first time i ever saw a white one.hope we get a big winter this year we havent had a good one since jan. 2000 in burlington NC.

November 25, 2013 at 10:33 pm
(40) Tiffany B says:

I haven’t seen one, but a lady I work with said she found 2 in her yard. Fine by me, I love the snow! We’re in the NC piedmont.

February 10, 2014 at 5:58 pm
(41) Mary says:

I have been in love with the black wooly worms for years. However, this past fall apx. October, I saw my first Snow White wooly worm. I could not believe my eyes. In apx. 50 years I had not know there is such a thing as a white wooly worm. It did not have any other color, It was pure white. So beautiful. I wondered then, was there a meaning to this beautiful little worm. I live in eastern North Carolina & we are having (in my opinion) an extremely cold & snowy winter. I hardly ever see the ones with the rust color fur. Mine are big black & beautiful.

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