Home Remedies for Bagworms

Old 08-09-01, 07:12 AM
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My neighbors have planted arborvitae on the south side of my house at their property line. I removed these same type of bushes over five years ago because neglect allowed them to be taken over by bag worms. It was so bad that the only solution was to remove the bushes (the bagworms destroyed most of them anyway). At any rate the neighbors don't even look at these bushes unless they are going by with the lawn mower and now they have bags on them that are threatening a twenty year old jack pine that I have in my yard. They do not wish to do anything except pull the worms off when they see them and consequently the worms are migrating to my pine and other plants. The branches of the bushes themselves are actually on my property since they have never been trimmed. The problem with using malithion or other pesticides is that the bushes are on a slope with perennial gardens on either side and the grassy areas surrounding them are used by my children and theirs. Any home remedies that are not toxic to kids or pets would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Old 08-09-01, 08:31 AM
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Hi Kalan,

If the worms are still small you can spray with BT, found at any nursery. If they are larger, it may have no effect and you'll have to use an insecticide. I used Orthene and it killed them instantly. They can do a huge amount of damage in a short time. So act promptly.


Some people also call those worms that make a spidery web type nest in trees bagworms. Those can be knocked down and stepped on. I sprayed some with wasp spray the other day.

You may have given up on your shrubs too early. Bag worms had eaten half of one of mine. It didn't look too great last year, but this year it looks like it never had any damage at all.

Tell your neighbors you're going to spray yours and offer to spray for them to prevent THEIR trees/shrubs from dying. They really shouldn't mind. Explain what damage they can do.

Good luck. I'm sure glad we don't have close neighbors!

Old 08-10-01, 11:54 PM
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As the bagworms are on the shrubs on the perimeter of your property, if you decide to treat with an insecticide, it should have no significant impact on the lifestyleof your property. You can spray with an appropriate insecticide which would protect your side of the property from the ravaging effects of these insects. As they are on the property line, your pets and children should suffer no ill effects. Contact your local Dept. of Agriculture Extension Agent for a legal spray in your area for bag worms.

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