FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas -

A common insect is threatening the pecan stock in Fort Bend County.

According to the The Fort Bend County extension service, walnut caterpillars currently active in the area have eaten a lot of pecan tree foliage and officials are advising pecan growers to check their groves for egg masses before a new generation hatches later this summer.

Officials say they have had a large volume of calls in June from residents, saying the caterpillars have been stripping bare mature pecan trees.

The areas hardest hit are Foster, Pecan Creek, Pecan Grove and Woods Edge.

They say conditions were especially favorable for the success of eggs laid earlier in the summer because of the rains and cooler temperatures.

The walnut caterpillar is a foliage feeder of trees, including the pecans, hickories, and walnuts.

Extension agents are hoping to get the word out to alert both home owners and commercial growers to be on the look out for signs of the larvae.