Indiana and Kentucky: If You See This in Your Tree You Should Remove it
This little cocoon camouflages pretty nicely within your tree branches, but you'll want to get rid of it before it wreaks havoc on your trees.
A Camoflaged Problem
If you saw this in your tree you may just think it is part of your tree because it camouflages well with the color of the tree. However, if you spot this in your tree you will want to remove it ASAP before it wreaks havoc on your tree because this little unassuming cocoon contains a pest, bagworm eggs.
What are Bagworms?
Despite their name, bagworms are a type of caterpillar that spend winters as eggs laid by their mother in these silken cases. According to the Purdue Landscape Report, bagworm eggs are laid by the mother in silken cases in the winter. Eventually, those eggs hatch into caterpillars which will feed on nearby plants. These caterpillars typically feed through August before they become adults. This feeding can be quite a menace and cause significant damage to your trees.
How to Spot a Bagworm Bag
The most seen characteristic of bagworms is the bag itself. They have been described as pinecone like by some. When the caterpillar first emerges, the bag they construct is conical but as they mature, the bag may become more diamond shaped in profile. The bag is tough and brown and covered in material from the host plant like leaf bits, needles, and berries.
Remove the Bag When You See it
The best course of action to help prevent a bagworm infestation is to remove the bag itself when you see it. The UK Department of Entomology recommends using sharp scissors, shears, or a knife to cut the loop that holds the bag to the plant. Doing this will remove the female bags with eggs. So keep an eye out this winter for these bags and if you see one, remove it from your tree!
YouTuber Chris Egnoto has a really informative video about bagworms that I recommend watching, below.
Quiz: Do you know your state insect?
Gallery Credit: Andrew Vale