Bagworms are moth-like insects that love junipers, spruces, and evergreens just as much as we do. However, they don’t get satisfaction by looking at them–because they don’t have eyes– their satisfaction comes from eating them by attaching their bag to a branch. In this post, we’ll go over exactly what these little creatures are, and more importantly bagworms control and treatment in Omaha and Lincoln, NE.
Bagworms Control & Treatment Omaha & Lincoln, NE
A bagworm is a perennial moth-like insect that eats a number of leaves and plants. They are wingless and mainly reside on evergreens as well as junipers. Bagworms can cause extensive damage to plants and trees. Bagworms have a case or bag that the caterpillar forms and suspends from on the plants that they feed on. The bag is made of silk and bits of host foliage. Adult males of this species of moths are dark and hairy in appearance with a wingspan of approximately 1 inch. Female bagworms look like maggots and are yellow. They look like small caterpillars. The adult female lacks eyes, wings, functional legs and mouthparts. She never leaves the bag that she constructed as a larva. The adult male is black and moth-like with transparent wings that are nearly devoid of scales.
Understanding Bagworms Life Cycle
Bagworms overwinter as eggs inside of the bag. Eggs hatch between late May and early June into small larvae about ¼” long. Once hatched, young larvae crawl out of the bag and begin feeding right away. The young pest also begins construction on its own bag, which will protect it as it feeds and develops. They will feed for approximately 6 weeks, continuing to grow to 1” or longer, and retreating into their bag whenever disturbed.
In early fall, the mature larvae will attach their bags to twigs and transform into pupa before becoming adults. Males will come out of their bags in early fall and search for females. After mating, the female will lay several hundred eggs which remain inside of the bag until they hatch the following May, beginning the cycle all over. This is a problem that can perpetuate year after year in a never-ending cycle.
Are bagworms poisonous?
Bagworms are not poisonous but are often thought to be since they cause the death of plants. Bagworms cause plant death due to feeding on their foliage.
Young bagworms may leave small holes in the foliage after feeding. Mature bagworms, on the other hand, strip evergreens of their needles and devour whole leaves leaving only the larger veins. When found in great numbers, these pests can defoliate plants in a very short time. Heavy infestations can lead to the plant’s death in just a matter of a few weeks.
Bagworms appear to prefer evergreen species such as:
- Arborvitae tree
- Juniper tree
- Pine tree
- Spruce tree
They have also been known to attack certain deciduous trees, including:
- Black Locust tree
- Honeylocust tree
- Willow tree
- Sycamore tree
Early detection of bagworms on trees or bagworms on shrubs is key to the best possible outcome.
Bagworms control & treatment
Killing bagworms can be done by hand-picking or cutting the bags from the infested tree & plants before they hatch. Unfortunately, this is only effective if you do not have a total infestation.
When bagworms are too numerous to take care of by hand, then more serious bagworm treatment may be warranted with the use of professional chemical control products such as insect killers. It is important bagworm spray is applied while the bagworms are still actively feeding so that the product will work.
In general, a plant health care program is all about preventative care. Besides protecting your trees and shrubs from bagworms, it will protect against other common insects like mites and various borers.
There are so many different types of pests that pose a threat to your precious trees and shrubs without you noticing until the problem has progressed to a serious level. Why not be protected from all of them and prevent damage in the first place?
Is it Definitely Bagworms?
The key to success for any problem with your trees and shrubs comes from proper identification. While bagworms are a common pest in Omaha, & Lincoln, NE, there are also many others. And the truth is, oftentimes a problem may actually be a combination of issues. For instance, a tree or shrub that is already experiencing environmental stressors may be more susceptible to bagworm damage even in its early stages.
This is why it’s so valuable to have a tree and shrub expert visiting your property on a regular basis. An expert would be able to spot a problem in its early stages and get a plan of action underway.
Find a reputable local pest control professional that you TRUST and have them do the work for you. Check them out on the:
- read their reviews on Google to see what kinds of experiences other people have had with them
You may think you are saving money however, a single misapplication could have significant and adverse or deadly consequences for you or your loved ones.