The Bagworm is a perennial insect that gets its name from the silken bag it constructs around itself for protection. Bagworms can strip a plant bare, killing entire trees. They can spread from one plant to another rapidly. If left untreated, bagworms will leave only a skeleton plant behind everywhere they go. They camouflage themselves to look like a part of the plant. Bagworms often prefer evergreen trees, and they can easily be mistaken for pine cones at a distance.
The larvae can spin strands of silk to allow the wind to carry them to new plants. This is called "ballooning." Nothing is more annoying than being out in your yard and seeing a darn bagworm floating by giving you the middle finger. This is why leaving bagworms untreated can lead to further issues in your landscape. They can quickly spread from one plant to another. Before you know it, your bushes and trees could be eaten bare
If you believe you might have a bagworm infestation, it is important to act quickly. You should begin looking for bagworms during the winter or early spring. Bagworm egg sacks are brown and one and a half to two inches long. They have dead plant material woven into them. Look carefully among pine cones for any variations that could potentially be bagworms.
The photos below are some examples of bagworm sacks.
If only a few small trees or shrubs are infested, handpicking and destroying individual egg sacks may provide decent control. Hand picking egg sacks must be done during fall, winter or early spring before the eggs hatch in order to be effective in controlling the population. Do not dispose of bagworm egg sacks in compost or regular yard trash where they can survive. You should place all the egg sacks in a sealed plastic bag and throw them away or destroy them entirely.
Spraying insecticides is only effective against bagworms when they are newly hatched. Spraying should start in May when the bagworms begin to hatch. Stop spraying for bagworms by late July or August. By then, they have matured and are too resilient to be affected by the chemicals. It is recommended to have a professional handle spraying for bagworms. They will know which insecticides are most effective and how to use them in the most efficient way. Seeking professional help is much less expensive than removing and replacing every tree in your yard!
If you know or suspect that you have bagworms in your landscape, Real Turf Solutions can help you get rid of them! Give us a call at (478) 988-0043.
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By: William Adams
In 09/2018 William started at Real Turf working in the field having never done manual labor before. He wasn't expected to last the first day. Terry recognized ways William could benefit the company more, and after 5 months of working full-time on lawn service and enhancement crews, William was given a position doing digital marketing, IT, & quality control work.