Bagworms - Knowledgebase Question

Waxhaw, No
Avatar for sctrammell
Question by sctrammell
July 15, 2010
Discovered them in my Leland Cypress trees. They are over an inch in their cacoon. How do I get rid of them. Not going to pick them. Too time consuming.

Answer from NGA
July 15, 2010
Bagworms are easier to control when they are active. Scout your trees next May and June to see if you can find the worms crawling around. If so, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), sold under the trade name Dipel and Thuricide, is a great weapon against bagworms. It is basically a disease you give them (and other critters like gypsy moths, tent caterpillars, webworms, tomato hornworms, and other moth larvae). It is a great organic remedy that will not harm the birds, bees, animals and other insects in the garden. Since the pests must consume it for it to be effective, wait until you see them. It's most effective when the larvae are small. Now that they have gone into their cocoons, they are no longer doing any damage to your tree and systemics will not harm them. They can be controlled with Orthene, applied according to label directions, which includes spraying each and every bag-like home. I find it easier just to remove the bags and destroy them, but your mileage may vary. An alternative to spraying with Orthene is to use a soil drench systemic such as Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub Insect Control. If you apply it now it will travel throughout the cypress and next spring when the caterpillars are actively feeding the chemical will kill them. Good luck with your project!

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