Bagworms are annoying, hard to spot critters that love to feed on the green leaves around your garden. Bagworms only live for one year, which is enough time to mate and leave a new generation to infest your garden. The biggest problems with bagworms are that they are hard to spot in early stages, and once they develop, they are almost impossible to exterminate. Even birds, a natural predator to bagworms, promote the growth of bagworms, since the larva is so hard it usually goes through the bird's digestive system and is spread to other areas.
If you are one of the many unlucky people to suffer from bagworms, you have come to the right place. Read on for some tips on what you can do to rid yourself of this menace.
The least recommended, though easiest step, is to use pesticides. Pesticides, however, are bad for the environment and dangerous to every living thing, including you. If you do choose to use pesticides, do it when the bagworms are active for the best effect.
If you want to use a more natural method, start out by looking for the bagworm stems, which are usually brown or gray and resemble pinecones. Cut off these stems and drown them. Rake up any leaves in the area to help prevent the bagworms from spreading. If you can catch the stems early enough, you can prevent most of the bagworms. You can also use bacillus thuringiensis, which is an organic control of caterpillars. It will kill the bagworms, but it will also kill butterflies, so be careful.
Two good preventative measures are to set pheromone traps in August. The males are attracted to the pheromone, since they think it comes from female bagworms. Use the traps to kill the males so the bagworms cannot breed. Another good measure is to spray dormant-season oil spray. This will smother over-wintering insect eggs and help keep infestation down.