Bagworms are a very common pest problem in East Tennessee in late July when the temperatures rise in the upper 80’s and sunshine makes our flowers, trees and shrubs grow rapidly. But we also must be alert to insect problems that can affect our plants beauty and health.

One of the major insect problems for conifers are bagworms. These are not to be confused with Eastern Tent Caterpilars that invade our landscapes in early spring, mainly flowering trees. Eggs for bagworms overwinter and hatch in May and June. The larvae spread in various ways and when they find their host plant, the spin a tiny bag of silk and plant debris that looks like an upside down ice cream cone, The bag is firmly attached to the plant usually around a stem. The bagworms can strip the foliage from many conifers in just a few days.

This is a pic of bagworms that are on my Leyland Cypress.

bagworms 2013If these insects are not controlled they will multiply and cause additional damage to more conifers in the area.

There are several insect controls that can be used. One method is to physically remove the bagworms by hand. This is an effective and economic option. If this is impractical and you can’t reach the bagworms, insecticides can be used. You can use several sprayers, such as a pump sprayers, a hose-end sprayer or a mechanical sprayer. Just be sure not to use a sprayer that has been used for weed control. Contact the Green People for specific insect controls.