Life Cycle of
They overwinter as pupae a few inches below the soil surface near
susceptible plants. Adult moths emerge in the spring, and after
mating, females lay eggs on host plants. The adult moths are pale
green with four lighter, wavy bands on the forewing, and have a
wingspan of an 1 1/2 inches or so. Because moths are active at
night, you probably would not notice their activity.
Purple petunia hanging basket
The caterpillars hatch and feed primarily on buds and flowers; they
rarely feed on leaves. They can cause extensive injury if
populations are high. They mature in about three weeks, and then
burrow into the soil to pupate. We have two generations in our area
every year, with their peak populations occurring in August and
Handpicking is an effective control for small plantings, such as a
hanging basket. If the caterpillars make you squeamish, wear gloves
to pick them and crush them under foot. Because they are the larvae
of moths, Bt (Bacillius thuringiensis) provides good control
on small larvae. Bt is a bacterial disease that affects only the
larvae of moths and butterflies that feed on treated crops. The
target insect must ingest Bt in order for it to work, so plants have
to sustain a little more damage. It is very safe for people, pets,
wildlife and insects that are not feeding on sprayed plants.
Once the larvae get beyond the half-inch size, Bayer Advanced Power
Force Multi-Insect Killer (cyfluthrin) will provide better control.
Cyfluthrin is a synthetic form of pyrethrins, a botanical
insecticide made from the flowers of the pyrethrum chrysanthemum.
Bagworms are hard to see