KC Gardens

Bag worms eating my junipers

Bagworm damage


I’ve had an ongoing problem with bag worms feasting on my treasured junipers for the last two or three years. I’d had success fighting them off with herbicide sprayed in the early summer (per instructions from ag extension websites) and by pulling the little buggers.

But after being away from home for a month this summer I learned I’d lost the latest battle.

Here’s my question: Can I salvage the bush(es). It’s a combination of species (some prickly, most not) that stretch about 35 feet in one direction and 20 feet in the other. The bagworms have killed the midsection of the junipers, what I’m estimating to be about 25 percent of the junipers. Can I save the rest by cutting out the dead stuff (which is mostly in the middle, where I couldn’t pull enough bag worms while they were small)? - Scott -


  1. 7 months, 4 weeks ago

    I would cut out the dead stuff and your junipers should recover but foliage may come more from sides than the middle. Here is a link that has photos of recovery after bagworm damage. http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/mf728.pdf

  2. 7 months, 4 weeks ago

    I have a related question and one comment.

    Was this an especially bad year for bagworms? Have they ever stopped emerging and feeding? I don’t ever remember being so diligent about spraying my conifers with Bt four or five times over the course of a month and still having thousands of bags on everything. Are the bagworms relentless this year or what?!

    We have damage to junipers, arborvitaes, a gloe blue spruce and our Black Hills spruces. They’re even haging off the dappled willows and crape myrtles, but those will be hard-pruned next spring, so there’s no point pulling them off.

    And my comment: Junipers don’t re-leaf too well, but arborvitaes should grow through the damage. One of ours is already recovering. Yews will grow back readily, no problem.

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