What do bagworms look like? Bagworms are caterpillars that spend most of their lives in a silken cocoon or "bag." The bag is made by the caterpillar and is attached to plants, trees, or structures by silk. The bags can vary in size and shape depending on the bagworm species, but they are often described as looking like small cases or purses. Bagworms are found in many parts of the world, and there are more than 500 species. In the United States, common bagworms include the evergreen bagworm (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) and the black-humped bagworm (Acharia stimulea).
Are Bagworms Harmful?
While bagworms are not typically harmful to humans, they can cause serious damage to plants and trees. Bagworms feed on the leaves of plants, which can result in the death of the plant if the infestation is severe. Bagworms also produce a large amount of silk, which can clog gutters, drainage systems, and other areas where it collects. Bagworms are considered a pest by many homeowners and gardeners.
How Can I Get Rid of Bagworms?
If you have bagworms on your property, you can do a few things to get rid of them. You can manually remove the bags from plants and trees and destroy them. This is often the most effective method for small infestations. You can also treat plants and trees with insecticides. Be sure to follow the directions on the product label and only use products labeled for bagworms. Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) and spinosad are common insecticides that will kill bagworms.
The best way to deal with bagworms is to prevent them from infesting your property in the first place. Keep an eye out for signs of bagworms, such as silken bags on plants and trees. If you spot bagworms, remove them immediately. You can also take steps to make your property less attractive to bagworms. This includes keeping your plants and trees healthy and free of stress. Bagworms are more likely to infest weak or stressed plants. You should also avoid using too much fertilizer, making plants more attractive to bagworms.
What Damages Do Bagworms Cause?
As you will notice, bagworms love evergreen trees such as cedar, arborvitae, and juniper. They will also consume broadleaf trees and ornamentals, including maple, oak, rose, elm, and hickory. If left unchecked, a large enough population of bagworms can strip a tree of all its foliage, resulting in its death.
Larvae of many moths, including bagworms, love to eat the needles of evergreen trees. This type of feeding usually occurs in late spring or early summer when the larvae are large enough to do serious damage before they pupate into adults inside their protective cases. Heavily damaged evergreens may produce a second flush of growth, but this new growth is often more susceptible to pest damage and summer drought.
You might be wondering what are bagworms. While bagworms are most commonly found feeding on evergreens, they will consume the leaves of many deciduous trees and shrubs, including maple, oak, rose, elm, and hickory. Contact Excellence Pest Control if you think you have a bagworm infestation. Our team of experts will be able to help you get rid of these pests and prevent them from coming back.