Saturday, July 16, 2016

bag worms - lots of 'em

When we moved here, there was a small weeping willow in this spot near the end of our driveway. It was a messy thing, never really healthy and hard to mow around.

 Eventually it died and we replaced it with some pricey little tree from the nursery up the road. That tree started declining in health as soon as we planted it in the ground, it finally, I picked up this cheap and fast growing Thuja "Green Giant".    It was only about 3 feet tall when it was planted.

Just last week, I was noticing how tall and nicely shaped it was.  Then, the next time I noticed it,  the whole top was brown and nearly skeletonized!  What?

It is covered in bag worms!

Bag worms are the ones that look like little pine cones but if you keep  looking at them you will see them moving.

There are hundreds of them eating the leaves of my tree.  

I started pulling off all the ones I could reach and tossing them in a five gallon bucket.
When you disturb them, they close up their little cocoon.

I see you in there.

Then they will come out about half way to see what's going on.

Are they not hideous little things?

I pulled off all that I could reach. By then it was getting too dark to bother getting the ladder out to get those higher ones.

I do feel sort of bad about killing them. Their cocoons are little works of art...

But they shouldn't have chosen my tree!  These are ready for a cool bath with a bit of dishwashing liquid added to the water. (the soap helps them to sink instead of float)

If I can't reach them all I will have to spray some poison. I don't like doing that either but I want to save the tree.


  1. Back home Tommy wrapped a rag around a long stick like pole and soaked it in gas and lit it up and go around to the bag worms high up and kills all of them...not nice but I'm like you rather save the tree....Diane K

    1. Diane, my husband tried the burning method one time to try to get rid of tent worms...the results were not good! Picture flaming tree branches! Hope we don't have to resort to that method!