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John Fulton

John Fulton
Former County Extension Director

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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
Mature bagworms


Posted by John Fulton -

The last insect to discuss is the bagworm. Bagworms are notorious pests of evergreens such as spruce trees. We're about to June 15, the traditional date for control. With the warmer spring we may run a few days ahead of normal. The idea is to have all the eggs hatched before treatment, but not wait until the bagworms are almost mature. For control, the traditional standby has been Sevin, but the B.t. products such as Dipel and Thuricide have really taken their share of the market the past several years. The B.t. products have several good points including safety to mammals and toxicity to larger bagworms. Since they are bacteria that affect only the larvae of moths and butterflies, it does take a while for the bacteria to build up to the point where they can kill the bagworm. If you are in doubt about whether you have bagworms, check your trees and shrubs around June 15. You can actually see the small bags as the larvae build them. They become very noticeable at about 1/16 of an inch long. Treat bagworms early, since larger ones are more difficult to control.

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