Bagworm is an insect which derives its name from the protective bag of silk, leaves and twigs it creates in its larval stage. Since the female Bagworm is capable of producing between 500 and 1000 eggs in a single sac, these insects can cause extensive damage to a multitude of ornamental plants and severely defoliate and kill evergreens, if left untreated. Bagworms are quite visible as dangling brown ornaments from the bare branches of eastern red cedar, other junipers, spruce, arborvitae or douglas fir. Branches of evergreens that have been stripped bare of needles may die. Bagworms may also feed on shade and ornamental trees, fruit trees, ornamental shrubs and perennial flowers. Since deciduous plants loose all of their leaves each year, the defoliation caused by the feeding usually does not kill them. Bagworm caterpillars construct individual silk cases covered with bits of leaves from their last meal. An actively feeding caterpillar will have green leaves at the top of its bag.

Bagworm SavATree

If you suspect you have bagworms please call your arborist to request Bagworm treatment that helps minimize damage to landscape plantings.

Bagworm Life Cycle

Aphids Treatment
Bagworm eggs hatch in late May and early June. Young bagworms are as small as one-eighth inch long and can be difficult to see. After hatching, the larvae emerge from a hole at the base of the bag and spin down a strand of silk. The tiny insect is often caught by the wind and ballooned to nearby plants. Once a host is found, larvae begin to form a new bag around their body. The larva is a brown or tan caterpillar with black markings. Larvae remain in their protective bag, sticking their head out to feed. Bagworm larvae feed up until late August. The mature larvae then attach their bag to a branch with a strong band of silk and begin to pupate. Adult males emerge in September. They are small, furry gray moths with clear wings. The adult female does not have wings and never leaves the bag. After mating, the male moth dies. The female dies in the bag, mummified around the egg mass that overwinters until the following June.

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