Caterpillars in Georgia

[standard disclosure] I’ve done my searching on Yahoo and Google and have come up empty, so I turn to the entymologists here to save me. [/standard disclosure]

I have caterpillars in my back yard. Not just a few, but apparently hundreds (perhaps thousands). They are all black, with what appears to be a solid yellow stripe running down their backs. I live in north metro Georgia, so hopefully, that will narrow down the region. In addition, they are of the ‘slightly fuzzy’ type in that they have a few hairs sticking off the sides, but not completely fur covered.

Does anyone know what these are, and more importantly, are they okay to keep alive, or will I have to nuke my back yard in order to save my trees/flowers/shrubs?


Might be tent caterpillars

The Eastern tent is the one, thanks!

It seems, at least, I won’t have to napalm my yard for now at least.