Bagworms: Hiding in plain sight

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – They’re creepy crawly critters but many people here in the Natural State are mistaking them for leaves or even pine cones. 

The insect is called a bagworm. It builds a small bag around its body creating its first layer of protection. 

Then often uses leaves and sticks for the second layer. 

Compared to most bugs, the bagworm has a very interesting life cycle, spending most of its life in a bag. 

“It’s shelter, camouflages, helps generally protect them from predators generally and things that are trying to locate them. Then ultimately for the female, it’s a place to shelter the eggs as well,” says Dr. Ashley Dowling with U of A Department of Entomology.

The bagworm prefers red cedar and evergreen trees but will feed on over 100 different plants. 

Most people notice them in the fall when the leaves change colors and they begin to stand out. 

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