Bagworm caterpillars are abundant in Virginia, and get their name from their spindle-shaped bags, which are sometimes mistaken for pine cones, that hang from trees. These bags are where the next generation of bagworms pass the winter as eggs, enduring the cold weather, before hatching and crawling out as larvae, to feed the following summer.
Typically, after hatching from their spindle-sacs, bagworm caterpillars will feed for around six weeks. While relatively harmless in isolation, in our landscapes, these caterpillars can be devastating by defoliating the trees, leaving them in a weakened state or, in some cases, completely dead . This leaves the door open for secondary invaders and other stresses to affect the tree that could lead to its eventual death. Bagworms usually favor juniper, pine, spruce, and arborvitae – but this is not an exhaustive list and they have been known to feed on other species as well.
What Can You Do?
Call Us Now if you notice Bagworms on your plant material. If you experience smaller infestations, bagworms can occasionally be picked out as eggs before the larvae hatch. This method is risky though, as not all bags are easily visible or accessed for untrained plant-tenders. Larger infestations usually require more expertise or even teams of plant health care professionals. Our teams will administer treatments that are ideally done when the larvae are small, but can eliminate the pests without adversely affecting the plant on which they have inhabited.