Bagworms, they hang like, not so colorful Christmas tree ornaments. Unlike the ornaments that make us smile, these not-so ornamental bags protect several different species of caterpillars as they go through their life cycle. Like other pests, their population numbers vary from year to year. In 2021 their numbers seem to be higher than average.
Bagworms are easily controlled before they make the bag. Birds can put a pretty good dent in the population, but they can’t control them all. The most effective insecticides will contain one of the following active ingredients: BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis), Carbaryl (Sevin), Bifenthrin, Cypermethrin, Lambda-cyhalothrin, Permethrin, Spinosad, neem oil, Malathion, and insecticidal soap are some of the best. The question is when to spray. The answer is when the caterpillars are actively seeking a new home. Start scouting the landscape in April and spray when you see them. This process should continue in May and June.
Once they have created the bag, physical removal can be the best method. 50 years ago I was paid 25 cents to pick all the bagworms off a tree. Way back when I bounced better when I fell and a quarter was almost a gallon of gas. Then Kevin (a customer) came into my office and told me of Brian Butler – 214.914.6599. Brian went to Keven’s house and killed all the bagworms on his trees. I talked to Brian and would recommend his services if you have a bagworm problem. Please read and follow the label directions.