Tag Archives: Larvae

Bagworms = Arborvitaes worst nightmare!

When unsuspecting arborvitaes are invaded by bagworms, it is often times a total loss for the individual evergreen under assault.

Bagworm caterpillars feed on specific types of evergreen foliage (arborvitae, juniper, cedar, spruce, cypress, etc.) and may partially stress or completely kill the host evergreen in relatively short order if left unchecked.

Once a suitable host is found, bagworm caterpillars get busy building protective hanging sacks out of needles and other nearby plant material to cover themselves, coming out to feed.  The sacks hang from branches and are usually brown in color (look like small pine cones once the plant material used dries out).  Female bagworms mature as small caterpillars and never leave their individual nest sack, while adult male’s eventually fly-away as moths (August/September).  Both the mature male and female die shortly after mating at the female’s sack.  A mature female bagworm caterpillar can fertilize up to 1,000 eggs before dying within her cocoon.  Bagworm eggs overwinter in the female sack and hatch in May.  Larvae exit the cocoon by lowering themselves down/out via a self-generated thin silk thread.

BAGWORMS very survival hang’s by a thread!

Only a single generation of bagworm eggs are produced each year.  Bagworm feeding can be quite devastating to the host plant if left unchecked.  Manual removal of any/all bagworm sacks is recommended whenever possible.  If manual sack removal is not an option then a properly timed insecticide application (late June/early July) by a trained and qualified professional is highly recommended to control the overall bagworm larvae population in the effected evergreen trees.

Thank you for visiting our site and please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any service requests or questions you may have.  We greatly appreciate the opportunity and look forward to hearing from you in the very near future.  Have a great day!

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Sod Webworm: Weakened or drought stressed lawns beware!

If you maintain a lawn that happens to benefit from full sun exposure (not shaded) and has become weakened from heat and drought stress you need to be aware of sod webworm and the damage it can cause.  This small sod webworm caterpillar (5/8″-1″ in length) can chew off leaves and stems of your cool-season grasses including Kentucky bluegrass, most fescues, perennial ryegrass and bentgrass.  It will cause general lawn thinning, followed by small patches of brown and finally leaving behind closely cut/cropped areas.  A lawn that is healthy and well irrigated will often tolerate and recover from sod webworm scalping.  Weak or drought stressed lawns that have been clipped short by sod webworm may be killed via sun exposure to the crowns of the plant.  Adult sod webworm moths (lawn moths) are small whitish, dull gray or tan colored moths that hover over turfgrass at dusk.  As these small sod webworm moths flutter across the lawn females drop eggs during flight that settle in the upper thatch layer of your lawn.  As many as 500 eggs are laid during a life span of usually less than 14 days.  Depending on temperatures, eggs hatch in 4 to 20 days and the larvae develop through usually 6 to 8 larval stages in 4 to 7 weeks.  The larvae are beige, gray, brown or a greenish color (depending upon species) with a brownish head.  The older larvae chew down foliage around their burrows mainly at night.  Most sod webworm have two generations per year.  Sod webworm are fairly easy to control on a curative, as-needed basis.  Insecticide controls are directed against the feeding larvae, not the moths.  A healthy, vigorous turf, balanced fertility and adequate irrigation during dry periods will enhance your lawn’s tolerance to sod webworm feeding.  As always, be sure to contact a local lawn professional to help identify sod webworm, evaluate treatment options and analyze if lawn repairs will be needed.

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