Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Nasty Little Buggers: Bagworms!

Bagworms are with us every summer, appearing in May in Southern illinois, but you won't notice them unless you look for them.  They start out small, and you have to really look hard to see them in late May and early June.  Now that we are in mid-July, they are easy to see, but most folks don't notice the insect in its little camo-sack; they notice them by the damage they cause.

These insect larvae will just about double in size during the remaining summer months, and they blend in well enough that most homeowners don't notice them until the needles on their favorite conifer are nearly gone.

Will your tree recover from this much damage?  If you kill the bagworms now, there is hope,but you should have done it a couple weeks back.  Malathion, the recommended insecticide, often won't kill bagworms with the recommended application strength once the larvae are as large as these.  BT spray is more effective at killing large larvae, but you should go to a garden shop and buy a new bottle if your BT has been sitting on the shelf in your garage for a few years.

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