Bagworm Infestation on the Homestead – yuck!!

Now that it’s sunny and we can get outside, we’ve been busy prepping the garden, mulching and cleaning up the yard.  You know, the usual “Spring Cleanup”.  We’ve been at the new Homestead for one year now and it seems that each month teaches us something new.  This month – Bagworm Infestation 101.  Ew.

What is a Bagworm you ask?  It’s basically a moth that feeds on trees and then takes parts of the tree to form a cocoon with silk strong enough to strangle and kill the tree.  (For a more detailed description click here).

See this lineup of trees?  See the little dead one on the end?  Yup, that tree had the most cocoons hanging from it.

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See those little sack like things that look like seed pockets?  Guess what? They aren’t seeds, it’s a bagworm cocoon filled with hundreds to thousand of eggs.  Again I say, EW.   140421_0006 140421_0008

So how do you get rid of them without spraying nasty chemicals?  You get your children to pick them off of the trees before they hatch.  Once picked, put them in soapy water and throw them out (in a sealed plastic bag of course). P.S. Papa Nice also helped, but he’s not in the pic 🙂

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There are “safe” pesticides out there, and we might resort to that.  For now, we are picking them off.  I will keep you updated as the summer goes on to see what happens.  Right now, the Bagworms haven’t hatched so it’s hard to tell if we’ve gotten rid of the problem.  I also read that birds will get rid of a small infestation, so I’m hoping the cocoons we couldn’t reach up at the tippy top will serve as a tasty snack for some birds (as long as they aren’t Starlings – we don’t need another infestation of those nasty birds!!).

 

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