Bagworm – One creature that spreads quickly in cities

The food scraps and other human debris in urban environments attract pests such as rodents and cockroaches, but urban areas can also become breeding grounds for plant pests. One creature that spreads quickly in cities is the bagworm moth, also known simply as the bagworm. Wind can blow bagworm larvae from one tree to another and infest previously healthy plants.

If you suspect that bagworms have taken over trees on your property, contact Cavanaugh’s immediately before the trees are destroyed.

Identifying Bagworms by Appearance

Technically, bagworms are not worms. Rather, they are a type of moth that spend a large part of their life cycle in a silky cocoon attached to a host plant.

Bagworms begin life as eggs. Female bagworm moths lay 300 to 1,000 eggs in a single bag. When the eggs hatch in spring, the larvae emerge as caterpillar-like creatures and move away from the bag where they hatched. When fully grown, the larvae are about one-inch long and look grayish.

Each larva creates its own bag where it will mature into an adult. The bags are one-inch to two-inches long and contain silk from the creature as well as bits of plant matter from the host tree. Mature females cannot move from their bag, but mature males use wings to fly, leave their cocoons, find female bagworms, and mate.

Recognizing a Bagworm Infestation

A bagworm infestation will be evident on the foliage in your yard, and you may not see the signs until the infestation is widespread. On plants that lose their leaves in the fall, the leaves may turn brown prematurely. On pine trees, the needles may fall off in large clumps.

Inspect plants with these symptoms up close. If they have bagworms, you’ll find either old or new bags where the worms and moths have grown to maturity and mated. Be sure to look under dense foliage, near thick limbs, and close to the plant’s trunk—bags may hide in these locations.

If your inspection reveals a bagworm infestation, your best bet is to request bagworms pest control. A trained technician will know what life cycle stage the bagworms are in and how to eliminate them.

Is your yard infested with bagworms? Pest control experts at Cavanaugh’s Termite & Pest Services Inc. can banish these bugs from your property. Our offices in Flanders, Freehold, and Somerville serve customers everywhere in the beautiful Garden State. Call us today at (800) 362-2282 to request our help with the bagworms at your residence.