Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bagworms

This evening I was doing my daily Japanese beetle inspection, and I came across a couple of bagworms on my arborvitae. I was so excited to see the worm and not just the bags I normally see. Of course my family thinks I'm nuts for getting excited over a disgusting ugly worm.
The other day while I was walking I saw literally hundreds of bagworms on a neighbor's large Colorado Blue spruce. He is Mexican and I had a very hard time explaining the bagworm to him; I wasn't sure exactly how the bagworm thing worked since I'd never seen an actual worm before. I just couldn't stand the thought of them damaging his beautiful tree so I had to warn him and explain the best I could. I now have a better understanding of the bagworm after observing this one tonight.
They are such ugly, destructive things, but I can't help being a little fascinated with it. I love observing nature! After observing this ugly creature for awhile I disposed of it and its friend in a ziplock bag.

20 comments:

vonlafin said...

Yep, it's that time again. I hate these little devils. They can defoliate and kill a tree in one season.

Carol said...

Count me as one who also hates these. I always find a few to pull of this time of year.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

ginger said...

I guess I should be checking my fir trees...

My boys really enjoyed seeing those pictures, especially the one where the bag worm has his mouth open. But of course, an eight year old and six year would enjoy that! (shudder!)

Connie said...

Fascinating photos!

cyndi in alabama said...

I had never heard of this creature before! You learn something new every day :-). Do you know if we have them down South?

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Cyndi, I never saw them until I moved up here. I never saw Japanese beetles there either.
I remember being so shocked when I found out that grubs became beetles.

Paula said...

They are ugly, aren't they? But what great close-ups! You can even see the open mouth in the last photo!! You did a fantastic job capturing these little critters.

Ki said...

Great clear macros of the worm.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Brrrrr, did I tune in by mistake to an episode of the Twilight Zone? ;-)

Boy, am I happy we don't have bagworms here!

Annie in Austin said...

Seeing these makes me feel better about not being able to grow spruce or fir!

Thank you for taking photos of these fascinating insects - and for keeping them in your garden, Robin.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Kylee said...

Oh wow. I just came across your post this morning, after finding one in our bald cypress tree last night. I took pictures, too! Ugly, yet cool. I'm going to post about it on my blog, too.

Awesome pictures, as always, Robin!

Patricia said...

hi i live in bahamamas andnow i finally know the name of these mamazing creatures...i see them here at tmy stables and love to see them hanging from their string in midaid.....thanks for the info...

Judy said...

I live in Northern Virginia and my cousin has Leland Pines and they are all over them. Does anyone know how to get rid of them and some kind of spray to help?

Anonymous said...

Can any answer this question: With heavy infestation of bag worms, is there a chance the tree will survive. I have a beaitiful Colorado Blue sprice that has lost about 60% of is folage and a Mature Eastern White Pine that has lost maybe 20% of its folage due to bag worms. Is it too late?
Thanks!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Anonymous, I always try to pull as many as I can off by hand. They can really be destructive, as you already know. I usually garden organically, but with a really bad infestation like you have you might want to spray. I hope the trees can recover.

Tonya said...

Will using an insect spray for bagworms on my blue spruce (ie Talstar), kill preying mantis as well? I don't want to harm the good insects and their cases.

Anonymous said...

My Leyland are covered with these critters but I have dogs in yard and also try to be organic especially where my dogs are concerned (and us). How can I get rid of these things or do I just cut down my trees? I will not poison my back yard. Thanks!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I don't spray either. I just pick them off by hand.

carlscl said...

Use BT in early to mid June when tiny caterpillars are actively feeding. The BT makes their stomachs stop working. IT does not hurt any other birds, pets or insects. Birds can eat the "worms" after they have ingested BT without any ill effects. Just don't spray on plants that butterflies eat (milkweed, carrots and parsley).

Bunny Jeans Decor... and More! said...

Greetings!I found your blog through a search about bagworms. Now I have a new friend in blogland :)

Late last spring we noticed that our Leland Cypress trees were horribly infested. Of course by that time of year, the tell tale signs were foliage stripped trees.

We picked bags for days in the 100 degree weather. Finally we gave up and sprayed,as our trees are 15+ feet tall. I still need to get out there and pick off more bags before they hatch this spring. And maybe spray too. (I very rarely use pesticides or herbicides)

We had a much colder winter and record snowfall (DFW, Texas), do you think that it may have killed what's in the bags?

I just can't lose these trees as they provide a screen from the back neighbors two story home.

Please drop by and visit my blog anytime.

Talk to you soon ;)
Bunny Jean