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Bagworms now swarming Nebraska trees, leaves

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PAPILLION, Ne (FOX42KPTM) - Bagworms are tiny critters that are now surrounding trees and plants in Nebraska. If you think they're harmless, think again. Garden experts told FOX 42 News Thursday they may be smaller than a dime, but they can cause quite a bit of damage.

"You're going to see missing leaves and distorted leaves," said John Fech, a garden expert. "Now is when you'll want to get out and inspect them."

Fech says bagworms aren't poisonous, but they can cause extensive damage to trees and plants just by gnawing at them. Fech warns that using too much pesticide to fight them can cause bigger problems to the environment. He says there's a right way to fight.

"Bacterial insecticide, one that isn't synthetically produced, so a biological control can be used quite effectively. It's called BT."

This invasion of sorts, which usually happens during May and June when the eggs hatch, comes at a time when the Omaha area is already fighting something called the Emerald Ash Borer. It's forced the removal of more than 1,000 trees in the city of Omaha since last year. Last month, FOX 42 News was in a south Omaha neighborhood as trees were getting taken down.

"It's kind of humbling at first, but I guess that's infestation. It's no different than a termite," said Jim Kresnik, who has dealt with those pests.

That fight still isn't over.

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