Dealing with the Dreaded Bagworm
If you have cedar trees or other evergreens on your property you have probably seen bagworms. Most of us are familiar with the brown bags made of leaf matter and the devastating defoliation these pests can do to our trees, shrubs, and other plants. Unfortunately, by the time we notice the new bags hanging from our trees, it is too late to treat. Plan ahead to get a jump start on them this year.
Bagworm Life Cycle -Bagworms overwinter as eggs protected by the females’ bags. The larvae hatch and emerge from the old bag from mid-May through the end of June. It is a continual hatch during that time period. The larvae immediately construct their own bag and begin feeding. These new bags are covered with bits of foliage.
The bagworms continue feeding and growing until mid-August. Then, the larvae anchor their bags to a branch and seal themselves inside. At this point, no chemical treatment is effective because it cannot get through the barrier created by the sealed bag. The larvae pupate into adults. The males are black moths with clear wings, and the females are worm-like in appearance and remain inside their bags. The males mate with the females in their bags then the females lay the eggs in the bags and then die. The cycle is repeated with the overwintering eggs.
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