This is the fifteenth installment of 15 Household Bugs in SW Florida That May Freak You Out which can be downloaded from our free eBook library.
If you’re at home, thinking “what is this freaky small gray bag hanging from my wall?” then you might have a plaster bagworm.
The case of the plaster bagworm is somewhat similar to a watermelon or pumpkin seed in its shape, size and flatness. It can look like an empty case or shell. Slit-like openings are located at each end. The entire thing is about half an inch long. It’s made of silk fiber, sand, lint and other miscellaneous debris. The openings at the end allow the larvae to move and to eat.
Plaster bagworms are a close relative of the clothes moth. They eat spiderwebs, wool, and the discarded larval cases of members of its own species.
The reason plaster bagworms are common Florida pests is because they like the high humidity found here. A good way to keep them away is to keep your air conditioner on and your house cool.
It’s also important to keep a clean house. Obviously getting rid of spiderwebs is a #1 priority, since that is a favorite meal of the plaster bagworm. Don’t forget to knock down and sweep up any other bagworm cases you find too. They are usually easy to spot on walls, unless your paint color matches the bug’s case!
In its larval stage, the plaster bagworm has three set of legs as well as false legs. It’s believed that the real legs help it walk on floors, while the false legs with hooks on the ends allow it to walk inside its protective case.
A mature bagworm caterpillar is about a quarter of an inch long. Its body is mostly white, but its head is brown.
In its lifecycle, the bagworm eventually becomes a moth; it’s not surprising that controlling plaster bagworms is similar to how you would conquer their cousins – the clothes moths. For severe infestations, you will need to call a Fort Myers pest control professional.
Consider Larue Pest Management for your pest control needs. We’ve served the needs of Southwest Florida since 1978, offering a complete line of services for both residential and commercial properties, including: pest control, mosquito control, and termite protection. For more information on plaster bagworms and other Florida pests contact us online or simply call (800) 314-8813.