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Read below for a comprehensive guide to remove bagworms from trees
Bagworms are Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis that hang from limbs in brown, bag-like cases. These are made by caterpillars from dried pieces of leaves and stems and are long. Bagworms defoliate the tree, weaken, or kill it. Fortunately, there are various methods to remove bagworms from trees. We have discussed five of them here.
Manual Removal Of Bagworms
- It is possible to manually remove bagworms from smaller trees and shrubs by plucking them with a hand. These cocoon bags are then destroyed. This is purely an organic approach to stop the infestation and does not require special equipment.
However, you may have to hire professionals for tall branches as tall branches require a ladder or equipment. Late fall to spring is the best time to remove the bags. This helps ensure the removal of eggs before they get a chance to hatch.
Take Help From Natural Predators
- When a tree is lightly infested, this is not much of a problem, as birds and insect predators eat the young caterpillars. Sometimes, woodpeckers can even break the bags to eat the worms inside.
In addition, sparrows are also natural predators that prey on bagworms. This type of predation can be encouraged by making your landscape bird-friendly. Furthermore, avoiding pesticides that kill predator insects is also helpful.
Spray Your Trees With Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt)
- Spraying your trees with Bt. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a bacterium that naturally occurs in soil. It preys on the caterpillars, causes them to become sick, and ultimately kills them. In late May or early June, young worms hatch and emerge from the bags. This is the best time to spray with Bt. Consult an arborist to determine the best timing and the recommended bacterium strain to spray.
Use Chemical Spray
- Chemical control should be reserved for more severe bagworm infestations. Chemical control involves the use of synthetic chemical pesticides on valuable landscape trees. Acephate, cyfluthrin, and spinosad are recommended chemicals for spraying trees.
These chemicals are minimally toxic to humans and mammals but highly toxic to bees and insects. Therefore, they should be applied in limited amounts only on windless, dry days. This helps the spray dry quickly and prevents it from spreading with the breeze.
- Bagworms thrive in hot and humid conditions. Although they exist in the entire U.S., they are common in the Southeast and eastern areas of the U.S. Since bagworms commonly attach to weaker trees, keeping your trees and plants healthy is the best preventive measure against them.
In agricultural areas where the use of pesticides is high and frequent, bagworms are a severe problem. This is because the pesticides destroy the predatory insects leaving the spread of bagworms unchecked.
- Regularly inspect your trees and branches to spot small bagworms. Small bagworms indicate a building infestation. They are easily removed by hand to prevent the risk of a severe infestation. In addition, when buying new trees and shrubs, carefully inspect the branches to ensure they are not infested.
This will prevent you from bringing the infested plants into your landscape. Moreover, limiting pesticides around your trees will encourage natural predators to keep bagworms at bay and prevent serious problems.
At American Tree Experts, Inc., we offer the best services to keep your plants out of harm’s way. Our pest management services ensure that your trees are protected from pests throughout the year. Our most sought services are pruning, bracing, pest management, and nutritional management. We offer services in Montclair, New Jersey. Call us at 973-744-6091 for a free quote.