If you have spotted cone-shaped bodies hanging from the branches of your trees or shrubs, you may have spotted an insect called a bagworm. Bagworms feed on a wide variety of plant and tree materials, however you will most commonly find them on varieties of evergreens, their preferred meal choice.

As the season goes on, we have encountered a growing population of bagworms in Nebraska. The earliest detection of bagworms shows in signs of brown, stressed needles or even a brown tint to a tree with heavy infestation. Bagworms do have the ability to de-foil a tree or shrub, or even kill it with enough stress and damage.

There are chemical applications available to help kill or control the bagworm population, however these are not effective until springtime. For the remainder of the fall season, hand removal is the best option to control detected bagworms and save the health of your shrub or tree. After hand-removing the bagworm, drop them into a bucket of soapy water.

Start planning for next spring’s chemical applications of insecticides to control the bagworm population in your landscape. If bagworms have been detected on your trees, call your local arborist for a canopy spray. For any infected shrubs, the maintenance team at UPL can spray a chemical used for insecticidal control at your request!