Species Identification: Waterborne larvae, Texas USA

Species Identification: Waterborne larvae, Texas USA

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Can you help identify this worm?

It was found in a cup of water at a restaurant (unpleasant, yes), likely came through the water system. (Location: Texas) Found these images of it online (in which they were also found in water systems - dog bowl, sink), but none of the sites identified it.

Significant features: black head, black pointed tail, clear body with grayish intestines visible, tiny (2-3 mm)

Similar larvae that don't match: -Mosquito larvae -Midge larvae

Any insight is appreciated, including if you are familiar with similar looking larvae. Thank you.

The larvae are moth flies (Psychoda sp.)

The black head, black pointed tail, clear body with grayish intestines visible and also their small size 2-3 mm can be seen on both pictures.

Where they can be found in nature:

In nature, moth fly larvae, Psychoda sp. (Diptera: Psychodidae) normally occur in aquatic habitats that experience intermittent submersion or flooding. The larvae develop in polluted, shallow water or highly moist organic solids where they feed on decaying organic material in mud, moss or water.

Where they can be found in households:

In homes, the adult flies, which resemble tiny moths, are most likely found on the walls of bathrooms, kitchens, basements and other locations where sewer drains and plumbing fixtures are located. The flies are poor fliers and usually are found close to the drain or area from which they came. Moth fly larvae are known to live in drain traps, garbage disposals, toilet tanks, sides of drain pipes and overflow pipes in homes, wet areas around leaky pipes, sewer lines, and septic tanks where they feed on stuff that might accumulate in such areas. The moth flies that live in Michigan do not bite and are not known to transmit disease of any sort.

What to do against them:

The best way to control moth flies is to eliminate or reduce the larval food sources by thoroughly cleaning drain lines and plumbing fixtures. Pouring boiling water down the drain where larvae are suspected to be may help to reduce their numbers. Adults can be controlled with the application of a household aerosol insecticide (like Raid) or a good flyswatter. Be sure to read and follow all instructions and safety precautions found on the label before.

There are various other methods which are far more precise, listing how to eliminate moth flies from drains.

These are moth fly larvae (Psychodidae). They live in sinks, bathtubs etc. See

Pharaoh ant

Adult Description: Also known as the sugar ant, the pharaoh ant Monomorium pharaonis has a small body varying from 1/12 to 1/16 inch long (2mm). The workers are monomorphic in size with body coloration varying from golden yellow to reddish-brown, and have a life span of about 70 days. Reproductive males are the same size as the workers but are black in color, and are rarely found in the nest. The queens are 4mm in length and slightly darker than the workers. Queens may live for a year and lay up to 35 eggs per day.

Larva Description: Typical ant larvae. Workers develop from egg to adult in 36 days. Winged males and females require about 44 days to develop.

Host Plant: None

PCR-based species identification of Agriotes larvae

Click beetle larvae within the genus Agriotes (Coleoptera: Elateridae), commonly known as wireworms, are abundant ground-dwelling herbivores which can inflict considerable damage to field crops. In Central Europe up to 20 species, which differ in their distribution, ecology and pest status, occur in arable land. However, the identification of these larvae based on morphological characters is difficult or impossible. This hampers progress towards controlling these pests. Here, we present a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based approach to identify, for the first time, 17 Agriotes species typically found in Central Europe. Diagnostic sequence information was generated and submitted to GenBank, allowing the identification of these species via DNA barcoding. Moreover, multiplex PCR assays were developed to identify the nine most abundant species rapidly within a single-step reaction: Agriotes brevis, A. litigiosus, A. obscurus, A. rufipalpis, A. sordidus, A. sputator, A. ustulatus, A. lineatus and A. proximus . The latter two species remain molecularly indistinguishable, questioning their species status. The multiplex PCR assays proved to be highly specific against non-agrioted elaterid beetles and other non-target soil invertebrates. By testing the molecular identification system with over 900 field-collected larvae, our protocol proved to be a reliable, cheap and quick method to routinely identify Central European Agriotes species.


Tribe Baridini


Tribe Madarini



Tribe Apostasimerini






Dead trees and brush provide a natural food source for foraging subterranean termites. When natural vegetation is cleared and houses are built, termites often switch to feeding on wooden structures. Termites enter buildings through wood that is in direct contact with the soil and by building shelter tubes over or through cracks in foundations. Any cellulose material in direct contact with the soil, such as trees, vines or plumbing fixtures, can serve as an avenue of infestation.

Signs of infestation

Active termite infestations can be difficult to detect. To find out if a home is infested, the structure should be checked for evidence of swarmers (including wings or dead termites in windows), mud tubes or damaged wood inside or around a structure

Swarmers: Generally, the first sign of infestation homeowners notice is swarming reproductives on windowsills or near indoor lights. Swarming termites inside the house usually indicate an active infestation in the structure. Termite wings may be found on window sills or stuck to cobwebs indoors. Though swarmers outdoors are a natural phenomenon, they indicate that termites are present and may be attacking nearby structures.

Mud tubes: Mud shelter tubes on crawl space piers, utility penetrations or on foundation walls and slabs are a sign of termite infestation. Termite shelter tubes can blend in well with the soil or concrete, making them difficult to see. To make inspecting the home for termites easier, prune vegetation away from the house walls. The soil line should be several inches below the top of slabs or foundation walls. An inspector should look for mud tubes carefully along cracks, in corners or where the top of the foundation is close to the ground. A screwdriver is useful to break open suspected termite tubes and detect live termites.

Wood damage often is not found initially, but is positive indication of a current or past termite infestation. Wherever wood comes in contact with the soil there is a high risk for termite entry. Carefully examine any wood that thuds or sounds dull when struck by a screwdriver or hammer. Probing suspected areas with sharp instrument such as a screwdriver or an ice pick will often disclose termite galleries or damage.

Characteristics of damaged wood

Subterranean termite damage is usually confined to the soft, spring-growth of wood. Termite tunnels and galleries tend to follow the wood grain and are lined with mud or may have a pale, spotted appearance resulting from soft fecal material plastered on tunnel surfaces. Moisture sources may cause wood decay and can encourage subterranean termite infestation. Deterioration caused by wood-destroying fungi can be confused with termite damage.


Bentley, W.J. and M. Viveros. 1992. Brown-bagging Granny Smith apples on trees stops codling moth damage. Calif. Agriculture. 46(4):30-32.

Brown, J. W. 2006. Scientific names of pest species in Tortricidae (Lepidoptera) frequently cited erroneously in the entomological literature. American Entomologist. 52: 182-189.

Gilligan, T. M., D. J. Wright and L. D. Gibson. 2008. Olethreutine moths of the Midwestern United States, an identification guide. Ohio Biological Survey, Columbus, Ohio. 334 pp.

Species Identification: Waterborne larvae, Texas USA - Biology

The tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens (Fabricius), is a native species and is found throughout the eastern and southwestern United States, though it is also known from California. It generally overwinters successfully only in southern states. However, it occasionally survives cold climates in greenhouses and other sheltered locations. Tobacco budworm disperses northward annually, and can be found in New England, New York, and southern Canada during the late summer. It also occurs widely in the Caribbean, and sporadically in Central and South America.

Figure 1. A closeup of an adult tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens (Fabricius). Photograph by Andrei Sourakov, Florida Museum of Natural History.

Life Cycle and Description (Back to Top)

Moths emerge March through May in southern states, followed by four to five generations through the summer, with overwintering commencing September through November. Four generations have been reported from northern Florida and North Carolina, and at least five from Louisiana. Moths have been collected in New York July through September, but at such northern latitudes it is not considered to be a pest. This species overwinters in the pupal stage.

Eggs: Eggs are deposited on blossoms, fruit, and terminal growth. The eggs are spherical, with a flattened base. They measure 0.51 to 0.60 mm in width and 0.50 to 0.61 mm in height. Eggs initially are whitish to yellowish white in color, but turn gray as they age. Narrow ridges radiate from the tip of the egg, and number 18 to 25 in number. Eggs of tobacco budworm are nearly indistinguishable from those of corn earworm, Heliocoverpa zea. At high magnification, however, the primary ribs of tobacco budworm eggs can be observed to terminate before they reach the rosette of cells surrounding the micropyle in corn earworm at least some primary ribs extend to the rosette. Females normally produce from 300 to 500 eggs, but 1000 to 1500 eggs per female have been reported from larvae cultured on artificial diet at cool temperatures.

Larvae: Tobacco budworm larvae have five to seven instars, with five or six most common. Head capsule widths for larvae that develop through five instars measure 0.26-0.31, 0.46-0.54, 0.92-0.99, 1.55-1.72, 2.38-2.87 mm for instars one through five, respectively. Larval lengths are 1.1-4.0, 4.2-8.0, 8.7-14.7, 18.5-25.6, and 23.3-35.6 mm for these same instars. Head capsule widths for larvae that develop through six instars measure 0.26-0.31, 0.36-0.53, 0.72-0.85, 1.12-1.25, 1.60-1.72, and 2.40-2.82 mm for instars one through six, respectively. Larval lengths are 1.4-4.1, 3.0-7.0, 7.5-9.2, 12.0-15.8, 19.5-24.3, and 25.5-36.0 mm for these same instars.

Development time was studied by Fye and McAda (1972) at various temperatures. When cultured at 20°C, development required about 4.6, 2.6, 3.1, 3.7, 10.1, and 9.8 days for instars one through six, respectively. At 25°C, larval development times were 3.1, 2.0, 1.9, 2.1, 5.7, and 2.5 days, respectively.

Young larvae are yellowish or yellowish green in color with a yellowish brown head capsule. Later instars are greenish with dorsal and lateral whitish bands, and with a brown head capsule. Many of the bands may be narrow or incomplete, but a broad, lateral subspiracular band is usually pronounced. Body color is variable, and pale green or pinkish forms, or dark reddish or maroon forms are sometimes found. Larvae are very similar to corn earworm. As is the case with corn earworm, the body bears numerous black thorn-like microspines. These spines give the body a rough feel when touched.

Figure 2. Larva of the tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens (Fabricius). Photograph by John Capinera, University of Florida.

Early instars are difficult to separate from corn earworm Neunzig (1964) gives distinguishing characteristics. Starting with the third instar, close examination reveals tubercles with small thorn-like microspines on the first, second, and eighth abdominal segments that are about half the height of the tubercles. In corn earworm the microspines on the tubercles are absent or up to one-fourth the height of the tubercle. Larvae exhibit cannibalistic behavior starting with the third or fourth instar, but are not as aggressive as corn earworm.

Figure 3. Tobacco budworm tubercle with microspines.

Figure 4. Corn earworm tubercle with microspines.

Pupa: Pupation occurs in the soil. Pupae are shiny reddish brown in color, becoming dark brown prior to emergence of the adult. The pupa averages 18.2 mm in length and 4.7 mm in width. Duration of the pupal stage is reported to be about 22 days at 20°C, 13.0 days at 25°C, and 11.2 days at 30°C. Diapause is initiated by either low temperatures or short day length.

Adults: The moths are brownish in color, and lightly tinged with green. The front wings are crossed transversely by three dark bands, each of which is often accompanied by a whitish or cream-colored border. Females tend to be darker in color. The hind wings are whitish, with the distal margin bearing a dark band. The moths measure 28 to 35 mm in wing span. The pre-oviposition period of females is about two days in length. Longevity of moths is reported to range from 25 days when held at 20°C, to 15 days at 30°C. A sex pheromone has been identified (Tumlinson et al. 1975).

Figure 5. An adult tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens (Fabricius). Photograph by Andrei Sourakov, Florida Museum of Natural History.

Biology of tobacco budworm is given by Neunzig (1969) and Brazzel et al. (1953). The larva is included in keys by Okumura (1962) and Oliver and Chapin (1981) the latter publication also pictures the adult stage.

Host Plants (Back to Top)

Tobacco budworm is principally a field crop pest, attacking such crops as alfalfa, clover, cotton, flax, soybean, and tobacco. However, it sometimes attacks such vegetables as cabbage, cantaloupe, lettuce, pea, pepper, pigeon pea, squash, and tomato, especially when cotton or other favored crops are abundant. Tobacco budworm is a common pest of geranium and other flower crops such as ageratum, bird of paradise, chrysanthemum, gardenia, geranium, petunia, mallow, marigold, petunia, snapdragon, strawflower, verbena, and zinnia.

Weeds serving as a host for larvae include beardtongue, Penstemon laevigatus beggarweed, Desmodium spp. bicolor lespedeza, Lespedeza bicolor black medic, Medicago lupulina cranesbill, Geranium dissectum deergrass, Rhexia spp. dock, Rumex spp., groundcherry, Physalis spp. Japanese honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica lupine, Lupinus spp. morningglory, Ipomoea spp. a morningglory, Jacquemontia tamnifolia passionflower, Passiflora sp. prickly sida, Sida spinosa sunflower, Helianthus spp. toadflax, Linaria canadensis and velvetleaf, Abutilon theophrasti. In Georgia the tobacco budworm developed principally on toadflax during April and May for one to two generations, followed by one generation on deergrass during June and July and two to three generations on beggarweed during July through October. In Mississippi, cranesbill was identified as the key early season host plant. In southern Texas, cotton is the principal host, but such weeds as wild tobacco, Nicotania repanda vervain, Verbena neomexicana ruellia, Ruellia runyonii and mallow, Aubitilon trisulcatum, are important hosts early or late in the year.

In cage tests and field studies conducted in Florida and which did not include cotton, tobacco was more highly preferred than other field crops and vegetables, but cabbage, collards, okra, and tomato were attacked (Martin et al. 1976).

Damage (Back to Top)

Larvae bore into buds and blossoms (the basis for the common name of this insect), and sometimes the tender terminal foliar growth, leaf petioles, and stalks. In the absence of reproductive tissue, larvae feed readily on foliar tissue. Neunzig (1969), infested tobacco with both tobacco budworm and corn earworm, and observed very similar patterns and levels of injury by these closely related species. Entry of larvae into fruit increases frequency of plant disease. Research in southern Arkansas tomato fields indicated that although tobacco budworm was present from May through July, they were not nearly as abundant or damaging as corn earworm (Roltsch and Mayse 1984).

Natural Enemies (Back to Top)

Numerous general predators have been observed to feed upon tobacco budworm. Among the most common are Polistes spp. wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) bigeye bug, Geocoris punctipes (Say) (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae) damsel bugs, Nabis spp. (Hemiptera: Nabidae) minute pirate bugs, Orius spp. (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae), and spiders.

Several parasitoids also have been observed, and high levels of parasitism have been reported. The egg parasitoid Trichogramma pretiosum Riley (Hymenoptera: Trichogrammatidae) can be effective in vegetable crops. Other important parasitoids are Cardiochiles nigriceps Viereck in vegetables and Cotesia marginiventris (Cresson) in other crops (both Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Effectiveness of the parasitoids varies among crops. Other species known from tobacco budworm include Archytas marmoratus (Townsend) (Diptera: Tachinidae) Meteorus autographae Muesebeck (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)Campoletis flavicincta (Ashmead), C. perdistinctus (Viereck), C. sonorensis (Cameron), Netelia sayi (Cushman) and Pristomerus spinator (Fabricius) (all Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae).

Figure 6. The wasp parasitoid Cardiochiles nigriceps Viereck, approaches a potential host, a larval tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens (Fabricius). Photograph by Andrei Sourakov, Florida Museum of Natural History.

Figure 7. The wasp parasitoid Cardiochiles nigriceps Viereck, stinging a larval tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens (Fabricius). Photograph by Andrei Sourakov, Florida Museum of Natural History.

Pathogens are known to inflict mortality. Among the known pathogens are microsporidia, Nosema spp., fungi such as Spicaria rileyi, and nuclear polyhedrosis viruses. In a study conducted in South Carolina, Spicaria fungus was a more important mortality agent than natural incidence of virus, and was considered to be one of the most important natural mortality agents.

Management (Back to Top)

Sampling. Large cone-shaped wire traps baited with sex pheromone lures are commonly used to capture tobacco budworm moths. Smaller bucket traps can capture these moths, but they are not very efficient.

Insecticides. Foliar insecticides are commonly used in crops where tobacco budworm damage is likely to occur. However, destruction of beneficial organisms often results, and this is thought to exacerbate budworm damage. Also, resistance to insecticides is widespread, particularly in crops where pyrethroid use is frequent.

Cultural techniques. Early season destruction of weeds with herbicide or mowing, or destruction of larvae on the weeds by treatment with insecticides, can reduce tobacco budworm population size later in the year.

Biological control. The microbial insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis is effective against budworm. Heliothis nuclear polyhedrosis virus has been used effectively to suppress tobacco budworm on field crops and on early season weed hosts. Tobacco budworm also is susceptible to nuclear polyhedrosis virus from alfalfa looper, Autographa californica (Speyer). Release of Trichogramma egg parasitoids has been shown to be beneficial in some vegetable crops (Martin et al. 1976).

Host plant resistance. Although there is little evidence for natural resistance to tobacco budworm among many crops, cotton is being genetically engineered to express resistance. Enhanced resistance to larval survival by cotton should result in lower insect pressure on nearby vegetable crops.

Selected References (Back to Top)

  • Brazzel JR, Newsom LD, Roussel JS, Lincoln C, Williams FJ, Barnes G. 1953. Bollworm and tobacco budworm as cotton pests in Louisiana and Arkansas. Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 482. 47 pp.
  • Fye RE, McAda WC. 1972. Laboratory studies on the development, longevity, and fecundity of six lepidopterous pests of cotton in Arizona. U.S. Department of Agriculture Technical Bulletin 1454. 73 pp.
  • Martin PB, Lingren PD, Greene GL. 1976. Relative abundance and host preferences of cabbage looper, soybean looper, tobacco budworm, and corn earworm on crops grown in northern Florida. Environmental Entomology 5: 878-882.
  • Martin PB, Lingren PD, Greene GL, Ridgway RL. 1976. Parasitization of two species of Plusiinae and Heliothis spp. after releases of Trichogramma pretiosum in seven crops. Environmental Entomology 5: 991-995.
  • Neunzig HH. 1964. The eggs and early-instar larvae of Heliothis zea and Heliothis virescens (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 57: 98-102.
  • Neunzig HH. 1969. The biology of the tobacco budworm and the corn earworm in North Carolina with particular reference to tobacco as a host. North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 196. 76 pp.
  • Okumura GT. 1962. Identification of lepidopterous larvae attacking cotton with illustrated key (primarily California species). California Deptartment of Agriculture Bureau of Entomology, Special Publication 282. 80 pp.
  • Oliver AD, Chapin JB. 1981. Biology and illustrated key for the identification of twenty species of economically important noctuid pests. Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 733. 26 pp.
  • Roltsch WJ, Mayse MA. 1984. Population studies of Heliothis spp. (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) on tomato and corn in southeast Arkansas. Environmental Entomology 13: 292-299.
  • Tumlinson JH, Hendricks DE, Mitchell ER, Doolittle RE, Brennan MM. 1975. Isolation, identification and synthesis of the sex pheromone of the tobacco budworm. Journal of Chemical Ecology 1: 203-214.

Author: John L. Capinera, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida
Photographs: John L. Capinera, Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, and Andrei Sourakov, Florida Museum of Natural History
Web Design: Don Wasik, Jane Medley
Publication Number: EENY-219
Publication Date: July 2001. Latest revision: December 2018.

Landscape IPM

The small, silk weaving that resembles a Christmas tree ornament on your favorite tree or shrub is not decoration. These bags protect the caterpillars, or larvae, pupae, female adults and eggs of bagworms (Order Lepidoptera Family Psychidae, Fig. 1).

Bagworms attack trees and shrubs including evergreens such as arborvitae, cedars, cypress, junipers, pines and spruce and broadleaved plants such as apple, basswood, black locust, boxelder, elm, honey locust, Indian hawthorn, maple, various oaks, persimmon, sumac, sycamore, wild cherry and willow.

Although bagworms are not abundant every year, once a plant is infested the insect becomes a persistent problem unless controlled. Texas has several species of bagworms, including Astala edwardsi, A. confederate, Tyridopteryx meadi, T. ephemeraeformis, Cryptothelea gloveri, Oiketicus abbotii and O. townsendi.

Each species’ slightly different habits and life cycles affect the timing of control measures. Infestations, which may not be noticed at first, can defoliate trees and shrubs, and kill these plants if left unchecked.

The bagworm ( Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) found on most evergreens lives in east-central Texas, from the Oklahoma state line to the Gulf Coast. Each species has one generation per year. Eggs are laid in the fall and hatch in the spring. Caterpillars grow throughout the summer and pupate in August or September. After a 3-week pupal period, the adult moths emerge. After mating, the females deposit their eggs and die.

Fig. 1. Bagworm (photo by H.A. Turney)

The live oak bagworm (O. abbotii) is abundant in the south-central part of the state, along the Gulf Coast to the Louisiana state line. Caterpillars can be found throughout the spring and summer. Most of the moths emerge in April and May, but some appear through October. Larvae may hibernate during the winter and resume feeding in the spring before pupation. Hibernated eggs may hatch as early as February. A species of the desert bagworm (O. townsendi) is found from El Paso to Alpine and in the Trans-Pecos area of Texas. These bagworms usually pass the winter as large larvae, which feed a little in the spring before pupating in April or May. Moths emerge from April throughout
the summer. Their growth and life changes are influenced by rainfall and season.

Biology and Habits

The most easily identified feature of bagworms is the tough, portable, silken case they build to live in. The silken texture of the bag is hidden and strengthened by layers of leaves, twigs and bark fragments arranged in a crosswise or shingle fashion. Different species use different plant materials to make their bags. The worm expels refuse through a small opening at the narrow, lower end of the bag and uses a wider opening at the top as a door to crawl out to feed or repair its bag.

Newly hatched bagworm caterpillars are about 1/25th of an inch long (Fig. 2). As the larvae hatch, they spin single threads of silk and attach to adjacent limbs or plants, where they begin building their own silk bags they carry the bags upright as they move.

Young larvae drifting on the silk thread may spread the infestation to new host plants.
As the caterpillars grow, the bags becomes more elongated. At maturity, caterpillars may be 3/4 to 1-inch long the bags hanging from plants are 1-3/4 to 2 inches long and more than 1/2-inch wide. Most species carry their bags along twigs and foliage with their feet or by an attached silk thread. A larva closes its bag’s upper opening before each of the molts between developmental stages and before winter hibernation
or pupation.

Fig. 3. Male bagworm moths around bag in which male pupal skin emerged

Adults emerge after the pupal stage. The adult male, which resembles a small moth (Fig. 3), is sooty black in color, and has clear wings with a 1-inch span and feathery antennae. The males leave their bags through the lower end and fly to seek females, leaving their pupal skin protruding from the bottom of the bag.

The adult female looks like a maggot, with no functional eyes, legs or antennae. Her body is soft and yellowish-white. The wingless females emerge only halfway and wait to mate with the males. Once mated, the adult female deposits 400 to 1,000 eggs in the empty pupal case (Fig. 4) in her bag before dropping to the ground and dying.


Birds, insect parasites and insect predators are natural enemies of bagworms. Bird predation and insect parasitism can help keep bagworm outbreaks brief. However, natural enemies often can’t prevent the bagworms from damaging plants.

Handpicking bagworms off the plants is the cheapest way to control them, particularly in the winter months. Pick off all of the bags and destroy or discard them. Eggs in bags thrown on the ground will hatch in the spring and develop into larvae that could reinfest the plants.

If handpicking isn’t practical or safe, use insecticide spray. Apply insecticide soon after bagworm eggs have hatched or while the larvae are small and feeding. Determine the right time for treatment by collecting bags in late winter and keeping them in a container out of sunlight. Once the caterpillars hatch from the bags in the container (Fig. 2), apply insecticide to plants.

Chemical control is not as effective when the caterpillars close their bags to molt or pupate. In most areas, insecticides applied in April, May and June are effective. Use insecticides containing acephate (Orthene®), Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, carbaryl (Sevin®), pyrethroids (bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, cypermethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, permethrin, etc.), spinosad, azadirachtin, neem oil, malathion, pyrethrins or insecticidal soap. Use spray equipment that gives complete coverage of all foliage. Hire a professional exterminator if you do not have adequate equipment.

Related Resources

Pesticide Use

All pesticides are potentially hazardous to human health and the environment. Pesticide users are legally required to read and carefully follow all directions and all safety precautions on the container label. Because label instructions are subject to change, read the label carefully before buying, using and disposing of any pesticide.

Regardless of the information provided in an Extension publication, always follow the product’s label. When in doubt about any instructions, contact the pesticide seller or the manufacturer listed on the label for clarification. Keep all pesticides in their original labeled containers and stored away from children. Never pour leftover pesticides down a drain.


The information on this page is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service is implied.


Bastiaan M. Drees, Professor and Extension Entomologist, The Texas A&M System


This publication is a revision of L-1802, Bagworms, by Philip J. Hamman, former Extension entomologist. The author is grateful for review comments by Carlos Bogran, John Jackman and Scott Ludwig.

Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides)

Largemouth bass grow 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) during their first year, 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) in two years, 16 inches (40 cm) in three years. They are usually green with dark blotches that form a horizontal stripe along the middle of the fish on either side. The underside ranges in color from light green to almost white. They have a nearly divided dorsal fin with the anterior portion containing nine spines and the posterior portion containing 12 to 13 soft rays. Their upper jaw reaches far beyond the rear margin of the eye. Life History Except for humans, adult largemouth bass are the top predators in the aquatic ecosystem. Fry feed primarily on zooplankton and insect larvae. At about two inches in length they become active predators. Adults feed almost exclusively on other fish and large invertebrates such as crayfish. Larger fish prey upon smaller bass.

In Texas spawning begins in the spring when water temperatures reach about 60°F. This could occur as early as February or as late as May, depending one where one is in the state. Males build the nests in two to eight feet of water. Largemouth bass prefer to nest in quieter, more vegetated water than other black bass, but will use any substrate besides soft mud, including submerged logs. As in Guadalupe bass, once the female has laid eggs in the nest (2,000 to 43,000) she is chased away by the male who then guards the precious eggs. The young, called fry, hatch in five to ten days. Fry remain in a group or "school" near the nest and under the male's watch for several days after hatching. Their lifespan is on average 16 years.

Immature largemouth bass may tend to congregate in schools, but adults are usually solitary. Sometimes several bass will gather in a very small area, but they do not interact. Largemouth bass hide among plants, roots or limbs to strike their prey. Habitat Largemouth bass seek protective cover such as logs, rock ledges, vegetation, and man-made structures. They prefer clear quiet water, but will survive quite well in a variety of habitats. Distribution Largemouth bass were originally distributed throughout most of what is now the United States east of the Rockies, including many rivers and lakes in Texas, with limited populations in southeastern Canada and northeastern Mexico. Because of its importance as a game fish, the species has been introduced into many other areas worldwide, including nearly all of Mexico and south into Central and South America. Other Two subspecies of largemouth bass exist in Texas: the native Micropterus salmoides salmoides and the Florida largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides floridanus, which has been introduced into many Texas lakes. The largemouth bass is by far the most sought-after fish in Texas. When anglers were asked to "name the fish you prefer to catch in freshwater in Texas", they chose largemouth bass three to one over striped bass, four to one over white bass, nearly five to one over channel catfish, and nearly ten to one over flathead catfish and white crappie. Because of the strong interest in largemouth bass fishing, there are hundreds of bass angling clubs in Texas devoted to fishing and conservation. Bass fishing adds greatly to the Texas economy each year and largemouth bass are highly prized for their value as food. Because of the species' popularity, it has been introduced into many waters in which it did not originally occur. As with nearly all aquatic species, pollution and drought are the biggest threats to the largemouth bass population.

Entomologists, mosquito and vector control professionals, pest management professionals, biologists, environmentalists, veterinary scientists and practitioners, wildlife biologists/professionals, government regulators, instructors of medical entomology, health department and public health professionals who have disease or vector responsibilities, mosquito taxonomists at the Universities and Colleges throughout Texas, members of the Society of Southwestern Entomologists, members of the Texas Mosquito Control Association, USDA professionals, CDC professionals, epidemiologists, entomology students, academia, pest control industry, libraries, etc. The audience for this book will broadly include relevant medical, veterinary, and health professionals as well as biological, entomological, and life sciences personnel

Part I: Mosquitoes
1. Taxonomy, Identification, and Biology of Mosquitoes
2. Mosquito Species of Texas
3. Key to the Genera of Adult Female Mosquitoes of Texas
4. Key to the Genera and Fourth Stage Mosquito Larvae of Texas
5. Key to the Species of Adult Female Mosquitoes of Texas
6. Key to the Species of Fourth Stage Mosquito Larvae of Texas

Part II: Communities
7. Mosquito Surveillance
8. Mosquito Control
9. Mosquito Species of Neighboring States of Mexico
10. Invasive Mosquito Species and Potential Introductions

Part III: Public Health
11. Mosquito-Borne Diseases
12. Recent Expansion of Mosquito-Borne Pathogens into Texas
13. Functional Relationship Between Public Health and Mosquito Abatement
14. Vaccines for Mosquito-Borne Diseases Affecting Texas
15. Personal Protective Measures Against Mosquitoes

Watch the video: Collecting aquatic insects Alderfly larvae at Loei Province, Thailand l Kanyakorn Piraonapicha (August 2022).