Now is the time to find bagworms!
The bags start off as very small silken containers on the underside of the stems on the trees. Most often the bagworms infest Leyland Cypress, Japanese maple and spruce (all varieties). Good description: the bags look like small pine cones! The bags are very difficult to tear open: they are silk!
How do you deal with bagworms?
Some people simply pull the bag off and drop the bag into a container of soapy water. This is not the best way! When the bag is pulled off, there is a thread of the silk that holds the bagworm on the branch that is left behind. The silken thread will stay behind and will girdle the tip of the branch: this silk will cause the tip to die off! There are therefore two problems caused by the bagworm: the foliage that is eaten by the worm (from now until mid-August) and the silken thread that is left behind on the tip of the branch that can girdle the tip and cause the tip to die off. If you are going to do the job yourself you must cut the bag off with a knife or use shears. You should never just pull the worm off of the branch. Then drop the bag into the soapy water!! You will have to do this for several weeks as the bags will be of varying size and will continue to increase in size. The best time to deal with bagworms has long passed: a dormant oil spray applied in late winter or very early spring will keep the worms at bay.
You will also need to clean up the area under the infected trees and dispose of the debris. Well, just what do you do if the tree is large and heavily infected or there are just too many trees for you to deal with? There are sprays available, most use Bt, a bacteria spray harmless to pets and children. Tall trees or too many infected trees to deal with? No sprayer? Or no sprayer strong enough? Contact us for assistance, we can spray now and offer you a tree and shrub plan to prevent future problems.
Mark Leahy is the President of Blades of Green lawn Care and Pest Control, a family owned lawn care and pest control company. Mark has concentrated his efforts in Central Maryland as well as Maryland's Eastern Shore. Mark has over 20 years experience in the Lawn and Pest Control Industries.
As a member of PlANET, the Chesapeake Club, NPMA, Pest World, the Turf Grass Council and Quality Pro; Mark is well qualified in the lawn care and pest control industries. Certified by the State of Maryland; Mark can advise all Marylanders' in the areas of lawn care and pest control.