Bagworms are Back!

Bagworms are Back!

Bagworms are back!

Bagworms are back again after a year or two of relatively small bagworm sightings in Richmond, and they have returned this Summer with a vengeance.

Bagworms are caterpillars from the moth family, named for the protective cases they build around themselves using a combination of the silk they produce and remnants of plant material that they feed upon. The worms and their bags start off very small when they hatch around late May, and by summer, the bags will have more than doubled in size along with the worms themselves.

They might be small, but significant bagworm infestations can cause major defoliation in trees in a matter of weeks to days. Often disguised or mistaken for pinecones or other natural tree parts, bagworms can sometimes go unnoticed until the damage has been done. Defoliation can weaken trees and make them more susceptible to other pests and diseases. Infested trees may also exhibit reduced growth, stress, and aesthetic damage.

Host Plants:

Their favorite Hosts are evergreens including:

  • Arborvitae
  • Leyland Cypress
  • Cryptomeria
  • Juniper
  • Pines
  • Occasionally Japanese Maples

Control and Management:

  1. Manual removal: For those brave of heart, you can pick off and discard bagworms that you can reach. However, you might find the task harder than anticipated, as the silk that attaches the worm to the branch is quite strong.
  2. Professional control: Insecticides are very effective at eradicating bagworm infestation. Call us ASAP if you suspect bagworms have infested your trees!