Bagworms are a common pest that can cause significant damage to trees, shrubs, and other plants. One common method for controlling bagworms is using insecticides, and Sevin is a popular choice for many gardeners.
Sevin, which contains the active ingredient carbaryl, is effective at controlling bagworms when applied at the right time.
In order to eliminate these pests, it’s crucial to target them during their feeding stage in June and July, as this is when the insecticide can effectively penetrate the bagworm’s protective encasement.
What is Sevin and How Does it Work
Sevin’s Active Ingredient: Carbaryl
Sevin is a popular insecticide containing the active ingredient Carbaryl. Carbaryl is a chemical compound used for controlling and managing various invasive pests, including bagworms.
Mechanism of Action
Carbaryl works by disrupting the normal function of an insect’s nervous system.
It acts as a cholinesterase inhibitor, which means it prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for transmitting nerve signals.
This accumulation of acetylcholine causes paralysis and eventually death of the pest.
Features of Sevin:
- Contains Carbaryl as an active ingredient
- Effective against a variety of pests
- Can be used in dilution with water
- Applied on the surface of soil and foliage
Characteristics of Carbaryl:
- Cholinesterase inhibitor
- Targets insect nervous system
- Causes paralysis and death in pests
Pros of using Sevin:
- Can control various invasive pests
- Suitable for use on different plants
- Can be applied in various ways, such as spraying or dusting
Cons of using Sevin:
- May not be suitable for organic gardening
- Potential concerns for human health and environmental impact
Here’s a comparison table of Sevin and another alternative, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), for bagworm control:
|Mode of Action
|Suitable for Organic Gardening
Does Sevin Kill Bagworms?
Impact on Bagworm Life Cycle
Sevin primarily targets caterpillars during their feeding stage as they consume the foliage treated with the insecticide.
Optimal Timing for Application
Insecticides like Sevin should be applied after the eggs have hatched and small bags are seen on the trees.
Typically, bagworm eggs hatch from late May or early to mid-June. The ideal time to spray Sevin is during the spring season when the larvae are active.
To ensure effectiveness against bagworms, it’s advisable to treat weekly for 4 to 5 weeks.
Comparison: Sevin vs Handpicking
|Covers a wide area.
|Assumes correct timing with the life cycle.
|No chemicals. Immediate results.
|Time-consuming and labor-intensive.
In summary, Sevin can be an effective solution for controlling bagworm infestations when used at the right time and applied consistently throughout the larvae feeding period.
Application and Usage of Sevin
Sevin Insect Killer Concentrate
Sevin is usually available in the market as Sevin Insect Killer Concentrate for use on Plants, Trees, Soil and Lawns
Proper Mixing Ratios and Sprayer Types
To use Sevin Insect Killer Concentrate, mix properly as follows:
- Mixing Ratio: 1.5 ounces of concentrate per gallon of water
- Sprayer Type: Use a pump or hose-end sprayer
Timing and Frequency for Best Results
For effective control of bagworms:
- Apply Sevin within a few days of eggs hatching in late May or early to mid-June
- Follow up applications every 7 days, up to 3 times per year
Note: Sevin only kills pests present at the time of application, for continuous control, apply as needed.
Alternative Bagworm Control Methods
Biological Controls: Bacillus Thuringiensis and Predators
Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt): A bacteria-based insecticide, Bt only affects certain insects and is safe for humans and animals.
It is effective against young bagworms but must be applied by mid-July1. Examples of Bt commercial brands include Dipel and Thuricide.
Chemical Alternatives: Malathion, Spinosad, Permethrin, and Bifenthrin
- Malathion: Effective for various pests, including bagworms, spider mites, and aphids. Care should be taken to avoid harming bees and other beneficial insects3.
- Spinosad: An organic compound, spinosad controls pests while being gentle on beneficial insects and the environment4.
- Permethrin: Synthetic insecticide, permethrin, is effective for various pests like bagworms, spider mites, squash bugs, and scorpions5. Be cautious of its potential impact on beneficial insects like bees and ladybugs6.
- Bifenthrin: A broad-spectrum insecticide, bifenthrin controls numerous pests, but may affect bees and other beneficial insects. Talstar is one brand of bifenthrin7.
Possible chemical alternatives to Sevin Insect Killer Concentrate:
|Effective for various pests
|Harms bees, beneficial insects
|Organic, gentle on beneficial insects, environment
|May be less effective on some pests
|Controls numerous pests
|Harms bees, ladybugs, honey bees
|Harms bees, beneficial insects
Non-Chemical Approaches: Handpicking, Soapy Water, and Removing Infested Branches
Environmental and Safety Considerations
Impact on Beneficial Insects and Wildlife
Sevin, a product containing the active ingredient carbaryl, is used to control a wide variety of insects.
However, it can also affect beneficial insects like honey bees, leading to a reduction in their populations.
Gardeners should apply Sevin only when necessary and consider alternatives that have a lesser impact on helpful bugs and predators in their garden.
Some points regarding Sevin’s impact on beneficial insects and wildlife:
- Negatively impacts honey bees and other beneficial insects
- Can disrupt the balance of predators in the garden ecosystem
- Alternative insecticides might be less harmful to beneficial species
Risks to Humans and Pets
Carbaryl, the active ingredient in Sevin, has been associated with some health risks to humans and pets, such as skin irritations and nervous system disorders.
While Sevin is approved for use by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, it is crucial to follow the product’s safety guidelines, including wearing appropriate protective gear during application and keeping children and pets away from treated areas.
Key points to consider for humans and pets:
- Possible skin irritations
- Nervous system disorders
- Follow safety guidelines and precautions
Proper Storage and Disposal
Proper storage and disposal of Sevin are essential for minimizing its impact on the environment. Store Sevin in a secure and cool place, away from heat sources or open flames.
Dispose of unused product and empty containers according to the manufacturer’s instructions and local waste disposal regulations to prevent contamination of water sources, soil, and harm to wildlife.
Some points on storage and disposal:
- Store in a cool, secure place
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions for disposal
- Adhere to local waste disposal regulations
In conclusion, Sevin is a brand of insecticide that can kill bagworms by contact and ingestion. It has ingredients like zeta-cypermethrin and bifenthrin that target the nervous system of insects.
Sevin can be applied as a dust, a spray, or a granule, depending on the size and location of the infestation. This product should be used with caution, as it may harm the environment and beneficial insects.
For best effect, use the product in May and early June when the eggs hatch, and apply as many times as necessary to remove the bagworms because it works on application but not afterward
- Bagworms on Trees and Shrubs – University of Maryland Extension ↩
- Alternative Biological Control Measures ↩
- Malathion – Pesticide Information Profile ↩
- Spinosad – Pesticide Information Profile ↩
- Permethrin – Pesticide Information Profile ↩
- Permethrin effects on bees and ladybugs ↩
- Bifenthrin – Pesticide Information Profile ↩
- How to control bagworms on spruce tree ↩
- Bagworm caterpillar feeding ↩
- Bagworms – Purdue University ↩
- Bagworm caterpillar feeding ↩
- Control Bagworms With Insecticides in June and July ↩
- Control Bagworms With Insecticides in June and July ↩
Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about bagworms. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.
Letter 1 – Bagworms
Cocoons on my Mesquite tree
October 10, 2009
South of Tucson, Arizona. I have these cocoons all over one of my mesquite trees.
Rio Rico, Arizona
This is a species of Bagworm. Bagworms are caterpillars of moths in the family Psychidae. They are unusual in that the female never leaves her bag. The bag is formed from silk and plant material by a growing larva that eventually pupates inside its bag.
Adult males have wings but females are wingless. The female emits pheromones and attracts a mate to her bag. Her eggs are also laid in the bag. BugGuide contains some wonderful information.
Letter 2 – Bagworm parks on handicapped sign
Interesting photo (and location) of a bag worm
Thanks to your site, my brother & I are able to identify the insect in the attached photo! We found this bag worm outside of a Walgreens, attached to the “Handi-capped” parking sign.
I am amazed that it made it all the way up to the top of the sign without being destroyed by someone! Plus, not sure how it got it in the middle of a parking lot? Best,
While the adult male moths of bagworms have wings, the females are legless and wingless and remain in the bag their entire life, laying eggs there after attracting a mate with pheromones.
If a female bagworm caterpillar chose that site for its cocoon location, it will surely guarantee her progeny will not survive as they will be too far from a food plant. If a male moth emerges, he will be able to fly away. This whole scenario gives one pause to think.
Letter 3 – Bagworms
We have two unusual cocoons around our house in central Florida. They are dark, spikey, and about 2 or 3 inches in length. What kind of critter can we expect to emerge from them?
You have a type of Bagworm, probably Thyridopteryx sphemeraeformis. This is a type of moth that often infests conifers like arborvitae. The caterpillars form the protective bag and never leaves it. It then pupates in the bag. The female is flightless and remains in the bag after emerging, and the male which has wings searches her out to mate.
Letter 4 – Bagworms
My daughter found these cocoon like pods next door to my house. There where many pods (15 in all) around the pine tree and on the pine tree that looked very natural. I’m unable to tell her what they are. Can you please help in identifying the ponds.
Michael Caputo & Kids
You have Bagworms, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis. They are common but rarely become serious pests. According to The Golden Guide Insect book, “their history is strange. The wingless and legless female, after mating, crawls back into her ‘bag’ and lays hundreds of yellow eggs, which hatch in spring.
The young larvae feed on leaves of many kinds of trees, building their conical bags as they feed. Later they bind their bags to twigs (or in your case the brick wall) and pupate. The male emerges, seeks the female, and mates.” We have a Bagworm page with additional information.
Dear What’s That Bug,
My girlfriend and I are stumped on identifying a bug, or more accurately, a cocoon that has latched on to the outside of her home in central Texas. 3 weeks ago this creature was partially out of its shell, and dragging this strange looking cocoon along with him.
He then preceded to pull himself up a brick wall, and has been there without sign of life for 3 weeks now.
Can you help identify this strange looking creature?
Dear Mister Chris,
I appologize for the delay in your answer, but the photo was lost in the bowels of American Homebody while America’s Sweetheart was in Miami. I just received the image. You have a bagworm, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis.
The exact composition of the bag is dependant upon the host plant which can be any number of deciduous trees as well as the preferred coniferous trees. Juniper is a particular favorite. I have located some information on www.ianr.unl.edu for you.
Bagworms feed on shade, orchard, and forest trees of nearly every kind, as well as many ornamental shrubs and perennials. Severe attacks are unusual. Since deciduous plants grow new leaves, damage to them is usually not serious. The growth of small or newly planted trees, however, could be slowed by leaf feeding.
Newly hatched larvae begin to spin silken bags around themselves shortly after hatching. The first evidence of infestation is the presence of 1/4 inch bags which are carried almost on end by the young caterpillars inside. As larvae grow, leaf fragments are added to the bag, which may reach a length of 2 inches by the end of summer.
The adult female moth is wingless and never leaves the bag. Adult males are small, grey moths with clear wings. Bagworms overwinter in the egg stage inside female bags fastened to twigs.
Eggs hatch in late May and early June, and larvae feed until late August or early September. Males emerge in September and mate with females through the bag entrance. You can also check out this website www.ag.auburn.edu which has some great photos of the bagworm.
Letter 5 – Bagworms
”pine cone” cocoons in Pennsylvania
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
December 1, 2011 1:37 pm
I noticed these mini pinecone-looking cocoons growing on the back of a stop sign by my work. Could you help me identify what creature created these cocoons? Thank you very much.
Signature: Kyle Helal
You have noticed the cocoons of Bagworms, a family of moths whose caterpillars construct bags from silk and foliage. The caterpillar enlarges the bag as it grows, dragging around its home as it feeds.
When it is time to metamorphose, the Bagworm retains its bag to house the pupa. Female Bagworm Moths are flightless and mate in their bags.