Controlling Bagworms in Your Evergreens

Merry Christmas! Welcome to Christmas in July. Happy Hanukkah and whatever greeting you want to give this time of year.

Yes, I know it's June, but Santa Claus is busy in many landscapes in our region. If you examine closely certain evergreens this time of year, you can spot a miniature Santa with that well known gift bag flung over his shoulder.

The bag should give it away as to what I'm going to explain. Yep, it's bag worms. These little eating machines are actively munching on selected evergreens like arborvitae, juniper, cedar, spruces trees and pine.

Heck, one time I was fishing on the Kanawha River and near the John Amos Plant, I saw a healthy population of Santa Clauses in sycamore trees, of all things. If you don't control these little Santas or bag worms, your tree tops can look bare in days.

It's interesting that as the little bag worm grows and eats more and more of your landscape plants, he makes that bag on his back bigger and bigger. Then, when he is fully mature as a larvae, he secures the bag to a limb and craws into the bag for a long siesta until he turns into a moth, and the sequence is repeated all over again.

The bagworms start their consumption of evergreens about June and finish their meal about September, so you have time to interrupt their dinner.

The best method and safest method is to use a non chemical like Dipel, which has the active ingredient called BT. You can opt for the real chemical stuff, but try the organic first.

If you forget or miss certain plants and you see all those Christmas tree bag looking ornaments hanging in your prized landscape specimen, pulling them off is a good idea, but your evergreen could look terrible by that time.


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