Demonstration helps residents in identifying bagworms, preventing plant damage

Chuck Otte demonstrates how to spray down a tree to best prevent bagworms from gathering in them during his presentation Thursday evening.

Geary County Extension Agent Chuck Otte hosted a bagworm identification and control demonstration Thursday evening in the in the backyard at 613 Tamerisk Drive in Junction City. 

Otte demonstrated how to identify bagworms, explained their lifestyle and gave tips on how to control them before they damage plants. 

For those unfamiliar with bagworms, they are small inconspicuous moths. The small larvae hatch in the late May or early June from eggs that are formed the previous fall. Small larvae generally feed on more than 200 species of plants, but they are most concerning when it comes to evergreens like juniper, cedar, arborvitae and spruce. If they are left unchecked, they can kill large trees and shrubs. When identifying bagworms, they are usually around 1.5 to 2 inches large late in the season, and are easy to see. In late June or early July, small bagworms can be found eating voraciously and causing a lot of damage.

Spraying is crucial for residents in keeping bagworms away, and Otte emphasized that how you spray has more of an effect than what product you are spraying. Otte distributed little pamphlets detailing bagworms so residents can have better luck in being able to identify them around their yards, and dissuade them in preventing plants from flourishing.

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