Bagworms Are Not Worms, But They Are in a Bag

New videos available on how to manage this common Iowa pest

June 29, 2020, 12:04 pm | Zach Clemens, Laura Jesse Iles

AMES, Iowa The Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic is offering two informative videos on a common Iowa pest: the evergreen bagworm.

The bagworm caterpillar lives its entire life inside a tough protective case made of silk and camouflaging bits of foliage. Each male caterpillar makes its own bag that it carries around as it feeds, with the head and legs sticking out the open, top end of the bag. Female caterpillars live their whole lives in the bag.

bagworms.The videos will help identify this common Iowa pest and explain the life cycle and spread of bagworms, as well as management practices to keep trees healthy.

“As an entomologist I cannot help but enjoy all insects, including bagworms, but they can be a serious pest,” said Laura Iles, director of the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic at Iowa State. “If you have an infested tree, watch these videos for how to inspect for caterpillars, and, if they are present, treat with a labeled insecticide.”

Bagworms can kill a tree if left untreated. Get informed with these videos from the Integrated Pest Management program to keep trees happy and healthy for years to come.

Videos available:

Bagworm part 1

Bagworm part 2

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