Bag worms have finally arrived

catherinet(5 IN)January 23, 2009

Hi all,

I've been dreading this day for a long time. Until now, we've been able to avoid the bag worms.....even though our rural neighbors down the road have them on their evergreens.

I found a bunch on a white pine the other day.

Do birds eat those worm? We're organic out here. I have alot of white pine and spruce. Unfortunately, something (not bag worm) has killed my Austrian pines.

Anything I can do to stop the bag worms from destroying the evergreens?

Hopefully, all the wild birds on our large wooded property will lend a helping hand.

Thanks.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey kath

where in z5 are you????

my zone 5 has been single digits for 3 weeks... a balmy 30 something today ... and back to single digits for the next 7 days..

i know dave has been into the 60's in his z5 for one day .... but back to the 30's today ...

not to mention wind chill for both of us ....

you seriously have bug issues.. in z5 .. in january????

any chance at a picture???

i use a hand spray bottle with either soap or diluted appropriate chem's in early summer.. when the bugs are actually big enough to see .... just sporadic spray here or there ...

any chance at a picture???

what big town are you near???

ken

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 4:35PM
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palustris81

Catherine,
Down here in Cincy, we have terrible problems with bag worms b/c the winters seem to be getting milder. They can attach to just about any plant, but in my experience I have really only seen them cause problems on spruces and junipers; as for the pine, I would remove what I see but not be real concerned b/c white pine generally grows fast enough, moreso than spruces to recover for any needle loss. Only organic method I know is removal of actual bags whenever found; spraying with Sevin during the bagworms' active periods is recommended, but is by no means organic.
As for the Austrian pines, I believe diplodia tip blight is the big problem that causes major brownout and new shoot loss, but I am by no means an expert on diseases or insects. Anyone, chime in if you have more info!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 5:38PM
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arbordave (SE MI)

Bagworms (originally rare in Michigan) have been shipped into our area on nursery stock, and have been able to survive here thanks to the relatively mild winters and/or warmer summers in recent years. I can't remember ever seeing them north of Detroit prior to the last few years (Ken - have they previously been a problem down there in Adrian?). As palustris said, they can be a serious problem on certain evergreens in southern Ohio (I have observed junipers and arborvitaes completely defoliated and killed in his area).

Here is a link that might be useful: Biological control of bagworms

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 7:22PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks everyone,
Ken.....I should have said that its the cocoons (??) that I'm finding on the trees. I'm not even sure what the worms look like.
Someone from the birding forum posted an article about planting daisies, so as to attract ichneumon wasps, which I guess are predators to the bagworm. I do have those wasps already, so maybe I just need to plant daisies nearby to increase their numbers.
Actually, I just remembered that I did find 2 cocoons last year on a small spruce. I threw them into my little stocktank watergarden, thinking they'd drown. Well, I looked out a couple days later, and they had attached themselves to one of the water lily leaves that was hanging out over the stocktank!! I think I have a picture of it if anyone's interested. Very curious!
I see these bagworm cocoons on so many evergreens in our area. I was hoping my property was immune......how silly of me!
Palustris, I think you're right about the austrian pines. It started out on the tips, and now its killing the entire trees. Its so sad.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2009 at 8:13PM
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