Bagworm moth infestation kills homeowner’s landscape, too late for treatment

Local News

CENTRAL ILLINOIS– As we head into the fall season, homeowners are starting to notice tree damage in their lawns. Their leaves may be turning brown or needles are falling off their pine trees.

University of Illinois Horticulture Educator Kelly Allsup said she has received many complaints from central Illinois residents experiencing bagworm moth infestation.

“People who have seen the bagworms and it has multiplied and just covered their trees, they want to know what to do, and at this point, it’s too late. You should have sprayed in June,” she said.

Treatment for bagworms can only start at certain times during their life cycle. Extermination should start in May or early June when they hatch.

Allsup explains how the bagworm overwinters in a bag that is made from tree foliage.

“Females remain in the bag all year long, and the male moth comes and mate with them inside the bag. And once winter comes, the female moth dies. But inside her body are multiple eggs,” she said.

Allsup said this is why homeowners should begin bagworm control measures before these worms ever get to this stage. For those who are just noticing the worms will now have to wait until next year to fully treat the infestation.

In the summer, the worms will hatch from their cocoon-like shell and will become susceptible to chemical or manual extermination. If doing self-extermination, Allsup said it is important to burn or suffocate the bagworms in a zip-lock bag.

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