Bagworm Eggs are Hatching: The Game’s Afoot!

Authors Joe Boggs
Published on
bagworm

Overwintered common bagworm (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) eggs are hatching in southwest Ohio.  The 1st instar caterpillars are very small with their bags measuring around 1/8″ in length.

Bagworm

The tiny 1st instar bags are constructed with pieces of tan to reddish-brown sawdust-like frass (excrement) stuck to the outside of silk and look like “dunce caps.”  As the caterpillars mature, they begin weaving host plant debris into the silk which provides structural stability and helps to camouflage the caterpillar bag-abodes. Continue reading

Box Tree Moth Alert

Box Tree Moth

Boxwoods (Buxus spp.) are some of the most common plants found in Ohio landscapes and they remain a mainstay of our nursery industry.  Box Tree Moth (Cydalima perspectalis) caterpillars defoliate boxwoods and will strip bark once they run out of leaves to eat.  The moth has multiple generations per year, depending on geographical locations, and sustained high populations are capable of killing boxwoods.

Continue reading

What’s going on with Lumber Prices?

By Brent Sohngen, Professor Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, The Ohio State University

In case you haven’t noticed, lumber prices have increased a lot over the last year.  Based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Lumber Price Index, which you can find here, lumber prices have increased 180% since April 2020.  This increase started last fall and has continued ever since. So, why have they risen, and how high will they go?

Let’s start with the first question, why have they risen?  The economic explanation is relatively straightforward: Demand rose rapidly due to pandemic-related building, and supply is really inelastic, as we say in economics.  Thus, while the demand for wood has increased dramatically, the supply of wood hasn’t been able to keep up.  Let’s break this down.

Consider the demand side first.  The construction sector, specifically building and remodeling houses, is one of the largest demanders of lumber in the US and around the world.  New home starts and construction spending cratered at the beginning of the pandemic, but they rebounded pretty quickly.  Remodeling in particular seems to have picked up a real head of steam. Continue reading