Tree & Shrub Insect Control: Bagworm

Bagworms can be destructive to a variety of plants, including: arborvitae's, red cedars, junipers, oaks, sycamores, maples, and apple trees, just to name a few. They camouflage themselves by creating a protective cocoon that looks like a bag made out of debris from the plant they are attacking/feeding from & feces. The females remain in the larvae stage and will continue to feed off of the host plant throughout the year.

Life Cycle

Eggs (300-1000) over winter in the bag. In early summer the eggs begin to hatch and larvae crawl out or drop by threads of silk which may be caught by the wind causing the larvae to spread to new locations and host (known as ballooning). This is why local populations can boom while other areas seem unaffected. Once on a new host, the bagworm will begin to create a new cocoon from itís own waste and host debris, attaching itself to a new branch by late summer (will resemble somewhat of a pine cone). The silk that is produced and used by the bagworm to attached itself to the new branch is strong and should be removed as it may cause the plant to girdle (which may deform the branch/twig and possibly cause die-off at that location). The larvae will pupate in the cocoon. The females will stay in their larvae form while males emerge as large winged insects that resembles a black bumble bee. After they mate (late summer/Early fall) the female dies in the cocoon and remains there to keep the eggs warm throughout winter, then the cycle starts all over again.

Bagworms attacks a wide variety of trees:

Spruce, Firs, Pines, Hemlocks, Arborvitae, Junipers, Beeches, Locust, Elms, Honeysuckles, Chestnuts, Maples, Poplar, Sweetgums and others. We have noticed most activity on conifers though

Damage to look for :

What homeowners can do:

If you believe your trees or shrubs have insect activity, call Grounds Services today for a no-obligations visit at 419-536-4344.

 

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