How to get rid of bag worms on trees

How to Get Rid of Bagworms

Photo: via NY State IPM Program at Cornell University

Notice an inexplicable mass destruction, yellowing, or defoliation in your evergreens? A close and careful look through the branches might reveal the culprit in clever camouflage: bagworms.

These destructive insects attack many species of tree or bush but are most often found on conifers like juniper, pine, arborvitae, cyprus, cedar, and spruce. They’re called “bagworms” because after the larvae feed on plants and trees, they encase themselves in cocoon-like “bags” constructed from twigs, leaves, and self-spun silk.

Once in its bag, a female bagworm can lay 500 to 1,000 eggs, escalating your bagworm problem to a serious infestation fast. Each egg will hatch into another bagworm primed to defoliate whatever it’s near. The worst part? Your problem may go unnoticed until too late because these bags assume the appearance of conifer cones.

Should you find yourself with a bad case of bagworms, follow this thorough guide to get rid of them.

Tools & Materials
  • 5-gallon plastic bucket
  • Soap
  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Garden sprayer
  • Insecticide for bagworms


Get Rid of Bagworms By Handpicking

If you find just a few bagworms, you may have caught the infestation early enough that you can effectively control the situation by handpicking the bags off the plants and submerging them in a bucket of soapy water to suffocate the larvae.

This will work, however, only if the larvae haven’t yet left the bags to go out to feed. Hatching generally happens in late May to early June, so do your handpicking of bagworms from late fall to early spring.

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Remove Bagworms Through Biological Control

Sometimes it’s not feasible to handpick bagworms, particularly when you’re dealing with tall trees. But if you can harness the power of creatures that feed on bagworms, you may still be able to control your bagworm population.

  • Bacteria: Bt, the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis, is effective at controlling bagworms if it’s applied as soon as the eggs hatch in the spring. Don’t wait too long—this bacteria won’t be as effective when the larvae have grown large. Follow the application instructions on the product you buy, and apply it with a garden sprayer. Follow up and reapply every seven to 10 days until the bagworms are gone.
  • Birds: Sparrows are predators of bagworms, so you may be able to keep the bagworm population down by attracting sparrows to your yard. To make your property more appealing for the birds, provide water at ground level (a low birdbath) as well as materials and places for nesting (thickets and trees). Sparrows also appreciate shelter to flit between, so brush piles and shrubbery can be assets, as can dusty areas for dust-bathing.

Or, Control Bagworms with Chemicals

An insecticide with malathion, diazinon, or carbaryl (such as Ortho Tree & Shrub Insect Killer, available on Amazon) can rid you of a bagworm problem if applied to bushes and trees when the worms are still young larvae. So, aim to spray in late spring, just after the bagworms have hatched and begun to feed, and always follow the insecticide manufacturer’s instructions.


No matter where or what time of year you find bagworms, don’t wait to start formulating a plan to eradicate them. Left unchecked, they can completely defoliate and kill your yard’s trees, bushes, or hedges.

Photo: via Dick Culbert

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8 Best Ways To Get Rid Of Bagworms


By Ibrahim Clouds/Dec. 1, 2021 1:00 pm EDT

Unlike crickets that deprive you of good night rest and the rather elusive, pesky spider mites that can ruin an entire plant before you know it, bagworms are seasonal invaders that target only coniferous trees (and some shrubs) where you would almost mistake their hanging, silky homes for pine cones. As written by Texas Insects, bagworm season starts in the spring (late May, early June) when hatched young caterpillars (each measures up to 1/25 of an inch) leave their protective bag-homes, hitch a ride on the whim of wind, and start a feeding spree on the foliage of your arborvitae, cedar, juniper, spruce, oak, willow, and pine trees. This period of feeding continues until the end of August or early September, when the hairy, black male adult with transparent wings and a wingless, almost-white maggot-looking adult female return in-bag, to reproduce.

The University of Florida points out that during this mating period, the adult bagworms become resilient, out of sight, and almost impossible to kill. Both genders stop feeding altogether; the female stays enclosed in the sealed, protective, 1/8 inches-long bag laying eggs for four weeks while the male naturally dies two days after mating. Now, if you notice the evergreens on your landscape turning brown or losing needles or you catch any other signs of a bagworm infestation, keep reading to discover eight proven ways to get rid of bagworms without losing your sanity.

1. Handpick and drop bagworms in soapy water

Sean Locke Photography/Shutterstock

Whether you have a mass invasion to handle or those creepy plants-mongering moths are just beginning to find their ways to your yard and you'd rather eliminate them from eggs to adults (all of them), put on your protective hand gloves, prepare a bucket of warm or hot dish soapy water, and ... let's get to work!

Wait, will dish soap kill bagworms? Really? Well, yes. Just like the whiteflies that invade your garden, bagworms are defenseless to soap. The chemical composition of dish soap infiltrates the protective wax coat of larvae insects, drains their vital fluids, messes up the metabolism of their cells, and ultimately kills them. Unfortunately, as confirmed by Garden Myths, soap is equally damaging to your plants and bagworm bags can be impenetrable to liquid soap. That's why Home Guides suggests handpicking the bags, cracking them open to make the inhabiting insects vulnerable, and dropping them in a bucket of warm or hot soapy water for hours to die. Take note, this technique promises a higher success rate in autumn and winter when the bags naturally drop off from all the hanging spots, especially from the hidden branches which you would have missed.

2. Introduce predatory birds

Steve Byland/Shutterstock

Prevention is better than the cure (argh... clichés, everywhere). Now, even after treating your yard for a bagworm infestation, your neighbor probably didn't, and those larvae can easily ride on the wind back to you from an external host. So, what gives? Well, Yardner suggests that inviting bagworm-preying birds who have young ones to feed in June (aka winter birds) is not just a way to get rid of existing bagworms, but also an establishment of natural defense against a potential invasion. Titmice, chickadees, and nuthatches are the most voracious predator birds for bagworms, and because a female adult bagworm lays between 300 to 1000 eggs in a season, it's important to start this process early (as discussed below). That way you invite as many as possible predator birds before June, when the hatched eggs leave their protective bags to feed and the adult larvae repair and build more bags.

This method is pretty easy, potent, and the process is fun to watch, as described by Annapolis Native Landscape; you plant trees (deciduous trees and broadleaf evergreens) and shrubs that provide direct shelter and feed to these birds, encourage them to hang around your yard with feed in bird feeders and water in birdbaths, and then simply wait and watch the predator birds work for you.

3. Apply Bagworms-Killing Bacteria

Pawel Beres/Shutterstock

Some micro bacteria that feed on insects all year round are harmful to humans, except in the case of bagworms. Den Garden writes that the bacillus thuringiensis (BT) that purposely targets and kills bagworms (and tent caterpillars, cabbage looper, gypsy moths, and other leaf-eating pests) can bring about up to 50% of their reduction, and does not adversely affect human and animals. Caution though – BugWiz warns that timing is important here, stressing that BT works extremely well only on young moths, specifically the very vulnerable, newly-hatched moths in search of food in June.

Now, while this can be the least toxic control of bagworms, BT are not an easy find, even though they are probably buried in your landscape feeding on earth-burrowing insects as you read this. Instead of digging them out (that's if you know how to find them), and instead of purchasing the sophisticated equipment used for finding and separating them from a soil sample, all you have to do is purchase some of the best BT products like Thuricide and Dipel. Finally, Bob Vila advises to use your BT product as instructed by the manufacturer and apply it every 10 days until all bagworms are killed.

4. Use diluted pure neem oil


According to Clemson Cooperative Extension, neem oil (like horticultural oil) contains hydrophobic extracts and other insecticidal properties that kill varieties of young insects by suffocation. Though it is only effective during the pupating or hatching stage of a bagworm's life cycle, neem oil is more dynamic to use, compared to BT or dish soap. As written by How I Get Rid Of, you may chose to dilute the oil in a bucket of water and then leave young bagworms there to die before disposing of them far away from your properties. Alternatively, you can spray the affected trees directly with the neem oil-water mixture because this doesn't harm plants. 

But who says using both methods is a bad idea? Take note though – Garden Beast warns that while the diluted pure neem oil (not neem oil for the skin or the pesticide neem oil) is non-toxic to you and your pets, ingesting neem oil can cause gastrointestinal inflammation and irritation. What does this mean? Take preventive measures by putting on your protective gears (goggles, respirators or mask, and gloves) before spraying.

5. Introduce Trichogramma wasps

Dr. Victor Fursov/Wikipedia Commons

Plaster bagworms can defoliate indoor plants in just one week. So, if you notice any browning of indoor plants (after applying the previously discussed outdoor solutions) but are allergic to insecticides, these harmless wasps are a great option. Stop Pest Info writes that introducing Trichogramma wasps in May is an effective and safe biological method that disrupts the reproductive cycle of bagworms. Scientifically speaking, Trichogramma wasps are endoparasites –  parasites that live inside their hosts, reproduce there, feed on their hosts' internal organs, and kill them. 

Now, you may be wondering if inviting a parasite onto your property is such a good idea. Well, according to Clemson Cooperative Extension, these wasps live for only two weeks (remember, not where they can cause contamination, sting, or bite, but inside of bagworm eggs), and die shortly after. In fact, one female wasp can kill up to 300 bagworm eggs within its short 7 to 14 day lifespan. All you have to do is purchase Trichogramma Minutum moth egg parasites and apply as instructed.

6. Spray chemical-based or organic insecticides

New Africa/Shutterstock

The application of insecticides is a fast-results option when treating both indoor and outdoor spaces for bagworms at once, for those who are not allergic. Nevertheless, SF Gate point that the best bagworm sprays are the insecticide acephate, chemical cyfluthrin, and Spinosad. Spinosad is one of the most environmentally friendly organic insecticides on the market and can be considerably lower in allergy-triggering chemicals. You can spray it directly to the infected branches, leaves, and foliage without risk. However, it is noteworthy that bees are vulnerable to spinosad, so this may not be an environmentally friendly solution where bees are.  

On the other hand, acephate and cyfluthrin are chemical-based insecticides that are toxic to plants (spray only on fallen larvae) and should not be used when the temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit because they are highly flammable. As always, remember to wear your personal protective equipment before applying any chemical-based insecticides. By the way, Iowa State University warns that applying bagworm insecticides too early (before May when eggs are yet to be laid) or too late (in summer when bagworms have grown in size) is a waste of time.

7. Plant trees that don't attract bagworms

Anna Aybetova/Shutterstock

Trees also have an impact on bagworms; by planting a large number of trees that attract bagworms, you open the ground for mass breeding of these larvae. As listed by Sussex Tree, other than pine trees, arborvitae, juniper, spruce, and cedar trees, as well as some shrubs, bagworms are also drawn to elm, maple, oak, birch, apple, black locust, and cypress trees. To avoid this situation, Annapolis Native Landscape suggest the replacement of these trees with Morellas, Holies, and Magnolias, which are less attractive to bagworms. 

If you don't mind letting go of your precious but ruined trees, completely removing and destroying the affected evergreens is a surefire way to supercharge this technique. A more friendly but less effective option is to spot the affected branches and leaves, remove them, and destroy them as previously discussed. Caution though — if you choose to destroy the infected plants by burning, and you choose to do this yourself, remember to familiarize yourself with the laws guiding tree burning and tree felling activities in your area. For instance, while private property owners in Sacramento, California are required to obtain a permit for tree removal, there's no such rules in Alabama, as noted by Tree Removal.

8. Hire an expert


Okay, we know you're probably rolling your eyes right now, but don't get us wrong. While all the do-it-yourself techniques shared here are the best ways to eliminate bagworms and make your property bagworm-free, hiring an expert is another great option for those who don't want to go through the inevitable stress of DIY, per Orkin. The only thing you have to do is make sure you choose a pest control expert that will give you the best experience. Anyway, below are the three important steps to choose a good pest control company.

  • Ask the big questions: Why and how did the bagworms come to your property in the first place? And will the pests go away forever after the solution? If the company has difficulty answering these questions, that's one big red flag, and you should keep looking.

  • Experience: Request for proof of positive results of previous work. These are usually pictures of before and after bagworm treatment situations.

  • Scope of services: Finally, some pest control companies are ready to take any job offer even if it's out of their scope. So, you want to make sure that the technicians have been specially trained to exterminate bagworms.


How to get rid of woodworms forever

Have you noticed holes in your favorite piece of furniture and immediately went to Google to write: how to get rid of woodworms? Then you've come to the right place, as this guide will clear things up for you. First of all, it is normal to experience feelings of anxiety and panic because the effects of pesky woodworms can wreak havoc on the entire home, not just one piece of furniture.

How to recognize woodworms?

Establishing the extent of the problem is fundamental before engaging in professional woodworm control.

The most important part of getting rid of these voracious insects is making sure the diagnosis is correct so you can get the most effective woodworm treatment.

As everyone already knows, woodworms feed on wood, making round holes, thereby damaging furniture, beams and floors.

They can be seen when they come out of wood, leaving a trail of dust behind them, or by finding many unsightly holes in wood surfaces. So always keep an eye out for dust near furniture or other wooden items in your home.

You should also know that woodworms instinctively seek light, so you may find them in the attic or near windows. The woodworm spreads easily from one piece of wood furniture to another, causing many problems and in some cases serious structural damage.

Other signs of woodworm infestation?

You may suddenly feel that the boards or beams have become weak: this is a sign of a severe woodworm infestation.

Also note the larvae: they are creamy white in color, but smaller than the tip of a pencil, so they are quite difficult to see. Also pay attention to the beetles: alive or dead; their length is about 3 mm, the color is brownish or black.

How many types of woodworms are there?

When we talk about woodworms, we are talking about various beetles that attack wood. The woodworm is a small insect, but it is potentially destructive to wood, because in its larval stage it feeds on wood and destroys it by making cylindrical holes in the surface.

Woodworms have developed great resilience and are able to survive in adverse conditions, even in buildings where the wood is completely dry. To the best of our knowledge, the life cycle of woodworms is very similar across all the different species.

In any case, the length of the life cycle may vary from one species to another. Curiosity about woodworms? Only in the larval state do these insects feed on wood! Being able to recognize the basic signs that distinguish the different types of woodworms will help you identify their presence.

It is also important to be able to intervene with a truly adequate woodworm treatment.

In Italy there are mainly three types of woodworms:

Lictidi (with a typical brown color, they are the smallest, almost crushed, but no less harmful).

Cerambicidae (known as ibexes or longhorns, they have long antennae)

Anobids ( Anobium puctatum , the classic brown woodworm).

How to get woodworm out of furniture?

If the woodworm problem is centered on a particular piece of furniture, you're in luck...out of luck! If, on the other hand, intervention is needed on more than one piece of furniture, don't worry... you can still eliminate woodworms and reclaim your home.

The best method is to use a PVC balloon, which is installed directly in a house infested with woodworms. In practice, furniture infested with woodworms is placed inside a PVC flask, immediately after which air is sucked in with a pump to create a vacuum, only then carbon dioxide is added until the environment is saturated and the temperature is maintained at a controlled temperature for 18 days.

After this period of time, the operation can be considered completed: you got rid of unpleasant tree insects.

The air inside will be unbreathable because it is devoid of oxygen. The system destroys insects at any stage of life, whether they are eggs, larvae or adults.

As you may have noticed, the destruction of woodworms is a task best left to the experts.

How to remove woodworm from beams or parquet?

Micronwood is an innovative and non-invasive microwave system designed to kill 100% of wood insects. How it works? Sophisticated equipment must be placed on appropriate beams to heat the wood with microwaves. This is by far one of the most innovative yet effective woodworm remedies available on the market.

The procedure involves placing a tripod with an antenna on the treated area to kill woodworms. Of course, the system is connected to a remote control equipped with a security sensor to activate it. To heat the treated area for woodworm infestation, the room must be free from other people.

The temperature can rise up to 75°C and is measured with a special laser thermometer.

Wood penetrates microwaves but can easily withstand temperatures up to about 200°C. Thus, there is no risk.

The system is completely ecological, leaves no residue, does not stain or disturb the inhabitants of the house.

This is a completely eco-friendly and innovative method that is easy to implement at home and can permanently kill the woodworm. A system that also does not involve any interaction with people or pets.

The effectiveness of the system has been subjected to numerous tests at research institutes, universities and thousands of home interventions throughout Italy.

No more woodworms and squabbling in the middle of the night, you can get rid of woodworms forever and sleep peacefully under beams and on wooden floors!

Get professional help to get rid of woodworms

So far we have shown you some of the methods to get rid of woodworms (see for more information). If you think you have a woodworm problem, we advise you to take immediate action. Your best bet is to call and ask for expert advice and then have qualified personnel conduct the investigation. Asking for help is the best thing you can do, your task will be to cooperate and, if possible, determine the extent of the damage.

It will be critical to formulate initial hypotheses and establish assumptions about the type of woodworm to be washed away. After calling the experts, you can breathe a sigh of relief by letting one of our trained professionals examine your property and identify the species of woodworm to recommend the best course of action to protect your property.

If you're wondering, in the most serious cases (which is why it's important to act quickly), we will remove and replace the wood if it can no longer be processed.

Wood heavily infested with borers is usually sawn and replaced, including structural replacement if necessary. Alternatively, resin repair methods can be used if the furniture or structure allows.

If you suspect a wood borer infestation, don't hesitate: contact the professionals to resolve the problem and get rid of the wood borer permanently.

How to get rid of worms and caterpillars that attack plants

You wake up one morning, go to the garden and realize that the plants don't look the same as they did a few hours ago. What happened? If we have to look for the "culprit", we will surely find worms and caterpillars. While it is important to note that they feed because otherwise they would not be able to survive, and that it is highly recommended that there be plenty of insects to keep the garden healthy and balanced, the truth is that some of them pass.

So is there a way to kill or even repel the worms that infect our favorite plants? Here we will teach you how to get rid of worms and caterpillars.


  • 1 Worms and caterpillars
  • 2 How to detect caterpillars on plants
  • 3 How to get rid of worms and caterpillars naturally
  • 4 Natural treatment from worms and caterpillars
    • 4.1 The fight against worms and tracks of
    • 4.2 Garlic and eggshells to repel those tenants
    • 4.3 Attracts worm-eating animals.

Worms and caterpillars

Caterpillars are larvae belonging to the group of insects that includes butterflies and moths. We know that in the first part of their life cycle, both butterflies and moths lay their eggs on plants, and a caterpillar emerges a few days later. It is the caterpillar that affects the crop and our plants. because they have an insatiable appetite. The need for continuous nutrition in order to develop into a new butterfly causes us to find problems in our plants and crops, which leads to pest problems. In some cases, the damage they can cause is so severe that it results in complete crop loss.

We know that there are a lot of chemicals for to protect our plantations, but they can become toxic to humans and the environment. Therefore, we are always looking for ways to get rid of worms and caterpillars naturally. Thus, a powerful effect is achieved without side effects and respect for the environment.

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How to detect caterpillars on plants

One of the main aspects is to learn how to detect the presence of caterpillars in our plants, both dead and in the garden. It's pretty simple. The first thing we should see in its size and color, and the second is the visibility and evidence that its symptoms are manifested in vegetables. Some of the main symptoms that come with finding caterpillars on our plants are fairly easy to spot. We can see galleries of peeling, holes and stinging on the surface leaves. They can also attack more tender shoots and some fruits to feed themselves more.

One of the symptoms by which we can easily identify caterpillars is the accumulation of black dots on the leaves, which are their feces. It will be transplanted with bitten leaves, black spots or holes, we can know caterpillars are present even though they have colors to camouflage in.

How to get rid of worms and caterpillars naturally

We are going to see how we can get rid of caterpillars and worms on plants by making a homemade pesticide or pesticide. In this way, we ensure plant health and do not produce toxic waste that could affect our health or the environment. Let's see what are the main ingredients needed:

  • Tomatoes: during metabolism, the tomato produces molecules called alkaloids. These alkaloids act as an excellent repellent that can repel not only worms and caterpillars, but also aphids.
  • Cilantro: This plant with many properties can be used to repel these most annoying species. We just need to strain and stir to spray.
  • nettle: It is also considered a weed because it grows very easily in fields and gardens. However, it is known for its medicinal properties and excellent pesticide. If we mix 100 grams of nettle with 10 liters of water, we get the perfect pesticide. To do this, we must give him a little rest.
  • Snuff : contains the alkaloid nicotine, which also acts as a pest repellant. It is enough to mix 60 grams of natural tobacco with 1 liter of water.

Natural treatment for worms and caterpillars

No need to use chemical insecticides . In fact, when it comes to gardening, we should avoid using these chemical products whenever possible, as they are toxic to humans and the environment, especially if we do not use them properly or if we overuse them. them.

Fighting worms and caterpillars with bacteria

But not with anyone, but with Bacillus thuringiensis . You will find this bacterium commercially available at garden stores and nurseries, and you can also get it. here. You just need to sprinkle the soil in the affected area in the afternoon when these pests like the green worm come out to feed. Of course, you should keep in mind that it also feeds on butterfly caterpillars, so if you don't want to damage them, it's better to use another method.

Garlic and eggshells to push those tenants away

Did you use eggshells to throw away? Don't do it again: they can be used to repel worms . Chop them up and scatter them on the ground. You will see how little by little they cease to exist. Plus, as they decompose, they serve as compost for your plants.

What about garlic? Garlic is a natural insecticide that repels not only worms but also other pests such as aphids. Cut one or two cloves of garlic and place them around the affected plants.

Attracts worm-eating animals.

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