Bag Worms in Spring/Summer
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Author:  Doufrog2 [ Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Bag Worms in Spring/Summer

I'm new here.
I have three trees in my little yard, one of which is a Bald Cypress. It's grown to almost twice the height it was last year when I bought my house. Unfortunately, it has bagworms and I need to know what I can do to get rid of them, without hiring an exterminator... Any suggestions?
I would really like something that's safe for my dogs to be around.

Author:  northwesterner [ Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bag Worms in Spring/Summer

This time of year the solution to bagworms is the pick them off by hand (place them into a bag and toss it - they can crawl back into the tree if you just drop them - ask me how I know). They can come out of those bags and move around, but once they're in place on the tree they typically stay put and are impervious to just about anything you could spray on them. Pull off what you can and next winter use a dormant oil spray on the tree to kill them when they're vulnerable to treatment.

Author:  Doufrog2 [ Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bag Worms in Spring/Summer

Because I asked the exterminator and he said to spray (poison, of course) in May/June when the babies are crawling around on the tree. That appears to be right now, because there are tiny little ones all over the branches. I mean *tiny*. Last year I only had a few big bags on the tree and I pulled off all the ones I could reach, but heard that it doesn't do much good, because at that point the moths have hatched, that you have to treat when the babies are out.
I would have hired the exterminator, but as I said, I prefer a non-poisonous way.
One good thing (I think) is that the weird looking bugs on that tree seem to be some strange named wasp that eats bag worms, so I'm good with that.
So the consensus is to wait until later in the year?

Author:  northwesterner [ Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bag Worms in Spring/Summer

I would let the tree die before I'd let someone come into the yard and spray poison. Seriously. Once they're in those little cases they're fairly impermeable.
There isn't much in the Organic Library about dormant oil, but I just looked up bag worms and learned something new. It looks like Bt is used on them this time of year (makes sense - if the mouth parts come out of the case to eat, you can get them that way). But Bt shouldn't be broadcast all over because it will kill butterflies. I think the "spring" for dormant oil is probably past because it's too warm now. If you pick up a bottle of Thuricide and mix it into a spray can with water and you might want to add nutrients like fish fertilizer or liquid molasses) you could treat and see if that slows them at all. Don't spray on a windy day and be careful just to hit the plants in question. It doesn't take much Bt, and keep the bottle in the fridge.

Author:  Doufrog2 [ Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bag Worms in Spring/Summer

Sounds good.
Does it kill grass or hurt dogs?
I'm going to have to treat a 20 foot tall tree with it...
We have quite a few butterflies, but they don't seem to hang around that tree much.
The geckos stay around the house, or at least that's where I see them. And then I've got a tone of little bugs that break down the dog poop in my yard. If I don't get around to scooping it one day it'll be half gone by the next day. So, I think for the most part my yard is pretty healthy. I'd like to keep it that way!

Author:  northwesterner [ Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bag Worms in Spring/Summer

Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is a microorganism that only targets specific pests. This product gets worms and caterpillars (moth larvae). Bti gets mosquito larvae, etc.


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