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June 27, 2001
The bagworms have hatched in southern and central Illinois. They are still very small, generally from 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, with little cases made of plant foliage. For the first couple weeks of their lives, they climb to the tops of trees and shrubs and hang on silk strands that are 1 to 3 feet long. These catch in the wind, carrying the young caterpillars to new hosts.

Insecticide applications are most effective once they have ceased this ballooning activity and settled down to feed. Treatments near July 1 of Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Dipel, Thuricide), cyfluthrin (Tempo), spinosad (Conserve), or trichlorfon (Dylox, Proxol) should provide control. One well-timed treatment should be all that is needed. Scout the trees after a week or two to be sure that additional bagworms have not blown onto the tree and to evaluate control. (Phil Nixon)

Author: Phil Nixon


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