Most gardeners have had the opportunity to garden organically by hand-picking potato bugs and pesky beetles from their rose garden. (This is the 21st century spin on what my parents called “chores.”) Today I got another opportunity with my personal favorite, the bagworm.
Bagworms are nothing like the tent caterpillars or fall webworms, which form condo-nests high up in trees. These nests can be removed with the aid of a pole pruner from a distance.
Bagworms create individual homes in subdivisions and proceed to exfoliate your plants. If you are sufficiently attentive, you’ll catch up with them while the area is still rural and there are only a few to remove. Come to the problem too late, and you’ll be removing plants altogether. All of these pests are larvae at this stage, and can seriously damage trees or shrubs that they inhabit. The adult moths only serve to perpetuate the problem.
The good news is that the worms are generally species-specific, so an infestation is limited to certain plants. Unfortunately, juniper is a favored species, with lots of varieties of juniper and cedar here in the park. Just keep alert and care for your plants regularly to try to eliminate the bagworms before they become a problem. Sometimes it’s easier to just do it the good old fashioned way, and organically pick them off yourself.
Landscaper at Busch Gardens