How to Get Rid of Bagworms (Natural & Organic Methods) - Organic Daily Post

How to Get Rid of Bagworms (Natural & Organic Methods)

By Sabrina Wilson / July 27, 2022

to trees

Bagworms are small, destructive insects that can cause a lot of damage to trees. The larvae of these insects live inside a silken bag that they construct, and they feed on the leaves of trees. This feeding can cause the leaves to turn brown and die, and if enough leaves are damaged, the tree can be killed.

Bagworms are most commonly found on evergreen trees, such as pine and spruce, but they can also feed on deciduous trees, such as oak and maple. In addition to the direct damage that they cause to trees, bagworms can also make them more susceptible to other problems, such as disease and infestation by other insects.

Organic methods for getting rid of bagworms are preferable for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are more environmentally friendly than using chemical pesticides. Secondly, they are more effective in the long term, as they do not kill beneficial predators and parasites which help to keep populations of bagworms in check. Finally, they are safer for humans and animals, as they do not contain toxic chemicals.

Beneficial Nematodes

Beneficial nematodes are a type of parasitic worm that can be used to control a variety of different pests, including bagworms. When applied to infested areas, the nematodes enter the bagworms through their mouthparts and release a bacteria that kills them. Nematodes can be purchased at most garden centers or online, and are applied using a watering can or hose-end applicator. It is important to water the area thoroughly after application to ensure that the nematodes are able to move through the soil and reach the bagworms.

Neem Oil

Neem oil can be used as an effective organic control for bagworms. The oil works to disrupt the life cycle of the bagworm, and can be applied as a preventative measure or as an active treatment. When used as a preventative, neem oil should be applied to trees and shrubs in early spring, before the bagworms hatch. As an active treatment, neem oil should be applied when the caterpillars are present and actively feeding. Applications should be made every 7-10 days until the bagworms are gone.

Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is made from potassium salts of fatty acids, which work to break down the cell membranes of pests, ultimately leading to their death. This soap can be purchased in ready-to-use form, or can be made at home using liquid soap and water. When used correctly, insecticidal soap is a safe and effective way to control pests in the home and garden.

To get rid of bagworms, start by mixing together water and insecticidal soap in a spray bottle. Next, put on some gloves and carefully remove any bagworms you can see from your plants. Once you’ve removed as many as you can, spray the plants with the insecticidal soap solution. Be sure to get the undersides of the leaves where the worms are likely to be hiding. Repeat this process every few days until you’ve gotten rid of all the worms.

Horticultural Oil

Insecticidal soap is made of potassium fatty acids, which are derivative of animal fats and oils. They work by breaking down the cell membranes of insects, causing them to dehydrate and die. Insecticidal soaps are contact killers, meaning they must come in direct contact with the insect in order to be effective.

Horticultural oil can be an effective way to get rid of bagworms. You can purchase horticultural oil at most garden stores or online. Be sure to follow the directions on the label. You will likely need to mix the oil with water before applying it to the affected area. You may need to apply the oil more than once to get rid of all of the bagworms.

FAQ

What are bagworms?
Bagworms are a type of caterpillar that live in a protective case or bag made from silk and bits of leaves, bark, and other materials. The bagworms hang from the branch of a tree or bush and extend their bags as they feed. When mature, bagworms crawl down the tree to find a place to pupate. The adult male bagworm has wings and looks like a small moth. The adult female bagworm is wingless.

What do bagworms eat?
Bagworms eat leaves and can cause extensive damage to trees and shrubs. They are particularly fond of evergreens, but can also attack deciduous trees and shrubs.

How do bagworms survive the winter?
The bagworms overwinter as eggs inside their bags. In the spring, the eggs hatch and the young caterpillars begin to feed.

Where do bagworms come from?
Bagworms are found throughout the United States.

What is the life cycle of a bagworm?
The life cycle of a bagworm consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The eggs hatch in the spring and the larvae begin to feed. The larvae continue to feed and grow throughout the summer. In the fall, the larvae spin cocoons and pupate. The adults emerge in the spring.

What damage do bagworms cause?
Bagworms can cause extensive damage to trees and shrubs. They are particularly fond of evergreens, but can also attack deciduous trees and shrubs.

How can I control bagworms?
There are several methods of controlling bagworms, including physical removal, chemical controls, and biological controls.

What are some of the insecticides that can be used to control bagworms?
There are several insecticides that can be used to control bagworms, including Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Dipel, Thuricide), spinosad (Conserve), and Carbaryl (Sevin).

Are there any natural predators of bagworms?
There are several natural predators of bagworms, including parasitic wasps, lacewings, ladybugs, and predatory beetles.

What is the best time of year to control bagworms?
The best time of year to control bagworms is in the fall, before they spin their cocoons.


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About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is an author and homemaker who is passionate about a holistic approach to health. When she is not writing she can be found tooling around in her garden with the help of her appropriately named dog Digby, bicycling in the park, and occasionally rock climbing…badly. Sabrina is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

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