Bagworms on shrubbery

Asked July 9, 2019, 3:36 PM EDT

I recently noticed that small bagworms (I assume these are bagworms) are all over a shrub at my home, I have never dealt with bagworms before and need advice as to how to get rid of them and hopefully save my shrubbery. Please advise as to what to do. I have attached a couple images so you can identify the type shrub and to confirm these are bagworms. Thank you in advance for your assistance, I greatly appreciate it! Sincerely, Bobbi Jo Simon-Frazier

Henry County Kentucky

1 Response

Good Afternoon,
Those do look like bagworms, and in most cases, bagworms will not kill the shrub or trees. It takes a lot of bagworms to completely defoliate the bush and kill it. First off, I would pinch apart the cocoons to see if anything is in them. This time of the year, you should be seeing the caterpillars feeding, and then they lay eggs in the bags which then hatch the following spring. Here is a link to a UK publication with some insecticides which can help. However, the insecticides will only work while the caterpillars are young and eating. The bags that you are seeing are most likely eggs, and an insecticide will not work. I would check your shrub for actively feeding caterpillars, and then make a decision if the insecticide is even necessary. Again, bagworms don't usually kill the tree or shrubs, but they can do damage. If you have questions, please contact me at the Henry County Extension Office at 502-845-2811. Thank you.

Levi Berg
Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources.