Can An Evergreen Recover From Bagworms? (3 method that works)

Yes, your favorite evergreen can recover from bagworms, which can be done easily.

Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis is an insect commonly known as a bagworm that can be a problem when they go out of control. They are a species of moth that hatches from eggs during early June. They are not as devastating as we think they are.

They are a part of the ecosystem but can be hard to control when their numbers grow simultaneously. So in this article, you will learn the best ways to get rid of bagworms.

Can an evergreen recover from bagworms?

Can an evergreen recover from bagworms?

Indeed an evergreen can recover from bagworms. Unlike other insects, bagworms can be hard to deal with without proper guidance. But before doing so, it is vital to know the nature of bagworms and how they harm your plants. 

Unlike any other insects, bagworms lay their eggs on your plant, and they start to grow just like regular insects, but your plant serves as food for the bagworms. Bagworms are great at hiding from humans and birds. They do this by using their silk to make a nest.

Anyone can be deceived by looking at those nests since they resemble part of the plant. There are 128 species of plants that bagworms consider foods.

Arborvitae, juniper, and red cedar are their favorite plants. The problem arises when they start to breed. A female bagworm can lay up to 1000 eggs at a time, which is when these pests go out of control. Without proper guidance, you can lose your plant. 

Will my arborvitae come back after bagworms?

Arborvitae can come back to life after bagworms, but unfortunately, it will require some time. Since bagworms love arborvitae plants, this particular plant serves as a great food source for bagworms.

Considering their damage to plants, your arborvitae can die if not treated quickly. They generally spread from the top of the plant and slowly reach below. You will find brown foliage as they will slowly cover up your entire tree. 

Unfortunately, it can take time for your plant to recover from bagworm damage if you notice it later. Even though the brown spots can recover throughout time, your plant may or may not survive.

One way to find this is by using your fingernails and cutting into the branch of your tree. If you find green tissues inside the plant, there is a possibility of survival in the coming years. If you find any branch already dead, cutting that branch could be the best option for you.

Don’t hesitate to cut off the big sections of the plant if you have to since when they grow, they will cover up the damage. It can last longer if the damage is severe. You might want to replace the tree if the damage cannot be backed up even after the full recovery.

Treatment for arborvitae 

Treatment of bagworms could be difficult if not taken care of at first glance. If the infestation is less, you can just pick off the bagworms. Work in sections and make sure to remove them all.

Since a female can lay 1000 eggs at a time, you need to ensure not to leave any bagworms on the tree. If you have a large tree full of bagworms, reaching the top of your tree can be difficult. Consider using a hose pipe to spray potent pesticides to kill them.

Now that you are sure to have successfully removed all the bagworms from your tree, pick them up and make sure to dispose of them. You can burn or drown them but don’t spare a single bagworm alive. 

The infestation may be too much for you to handle manually, and for this, you can spray Bacillus thuringiensis to get rid of bagworms. If you don’t know, Bacillus thuringiensis is a species of bacteria that inhabit the soil.

You might be wondering why use bacteria to kill bagworms, and it is mainly because of the nature of these bacteria which makes it best for pest control. These bacteria generate proteins that are harmful to some insects; luckily, bagworms are one of them.

But not to worry since the proteins are not harmful to humans, birds, and other animals. The protein will kill bagworms when they eat it, so make sure to use them correctly. The best time to use this protein is when bagworms are feeding.

Bagworms feed mostly in the morning and evening. Even if all your arborvitae plants are not infested with bagworms, it can be a good idea to treat them as well. 

Also Read: When Do Bagworms Hatch? (Quick Answer!)

Can you save a tree from bagworms?

Although bagworms can be a problem when the infestation occurs and goes out of control, there remains a good chance that you can still save a tree from bagworms.

The biggest step you can take to save your tree is by paying close attention to the leaves and branches. Bagworms grow around branches and leaves. Bagworms are hard to notice since they hide inside brown-colored cocoons.

The cocoons are noticeable since they are about 2 inches long and brown. If you noticed anything sticking out of the branches, your tree needs your help. At first, their numbers are small and it can be hard for you to notice. If the numbers are high, your plant has already been infested with bagworms. 

How to save a tree from bagworms?

Among all other methods, there are mainly three ways you deal with bagworms. They are observing, killing bagworm eggs, and killing the hatched bagworms.

Proper observation 

  • Since bagworm infestation needs a little time, you can notice them with clear observation. Bagworms can be hard to spot during the first stages due to their light brown cocoons. Since the infestation is less, you can barely notice any brown texture on your green plants. The bagworm cocoons are ½ to 2 inches long and can form any time of the year. The best time to find bagworms is between winter and early spring. They look similar to pine cones. 
  • Make sure to sweep under the tree. This way, you can be sure that bagworms have taken over your plant. It is possible to find egg sacks that fell from the branches. Do not put them into compost since it will provide a suitable environment for the growing bagworms. Instead, put them in a plastic bag and then inside your trashcan. 
  • Pay close attention to the branches of your tree. If you see some branches have already turned brown, bagworms may have killed them by now. Try your best to remove the bagworms from your garden since they can spread faster than you realize. 

Killing bagworms

  • There is no best way to treat bagworms than with quick home remedies. Mix lukewarm water and dishwashing liquid and mix them well. 
  • Make sure to put on gloves before dealing with bagworms. As the next work will require you to rely on your hands mostly. Carry some clips with you as they will come in handy as well. 
  • Now manually pick the bagworms from your trees and use clips to make it easier. Toss them in a mixture of warm water and soap. Make sure to submerge them inside the water fully. It will kill them almost instantly. 
  • All you have to do now is repeat this process during winter and early spring to ensure the bagworms don’t have the time to spread. The water and soap method is only applicable when the infestation is low, and it will greatly reduce the use of pesticides on your plants. 

Read also: Will Sevin Kill Bagworms? (Best Insecticides For Killing Bagworms)

Killing bagworms with pesticides 

  • If you cannot treat bagworms during the fall, you can take steps during May and early June. By this time, the bagworms start to hatch and can be dealt with before they can harm your trees. 
  • The best insecticides to work against bagworms are dipel or thuricide. They contain Bacillus thuringiensis, which works best against bagworms. Remember that if you have many plants affected by bagworms, it can be expensive to use pesticides on all of those plants. Other insecticides like tempo, Orthene, and talstar are also good for killing bagworms.
  • Spray the insecticides on the branches and leaves of the tree. It is best to spray the insecticides; the effect will begin faster. Make sure not to spray insecticides on your plants around children and animals. 
  • Do consider spraying insecticides between late May and early July. During this time, the young larvae come out from their cocoons and have the perfect opportunity to kill them.

During the next session, between late July and August, the larvae become fully grown and leave their cocoons. Spraying insecticides during this time will do no good to you. Instead, begin spraying between September and early October.

During this time of the year, the adult bagworms start fertilizing their eggs, and the perfect time to hand pick and remove bagworms. 

Bagworm Control >> Check out the video below:

What is the best insecticide for bagworms?

Bacillus thuringiensis, spinosad, dipel, thuricide and pyrethroid insecticides are the best insecticides for bagworms. These insecticides are most effective during the early season when the bagworms slowly take over your trees. If you started the treatment of your plants when bagworms are larger, using pyrethroid insecticide sprays is your only option.

If you are not certain whether to use insecticides on your plants, you can use some quick and easy home remedies like soap and water. Home remedies are not effective if not applied at an early stage of bagworm infestation. 


Pests are sworn enemies to plants. Nowadays, pests have also become a problem for human beings as well. Farmers struggle to save their crops from pests and are forced to use insecticides on crops and vegetables. These pesticides are doing no good to human beings and giving birth to many diseases.

Bagworms are one of the most irritating ones if not dealt with early. Your plants are there to retain the beauty of your environment, and pests can easily ruin it. This brings an immediate call to action. You can always seek professional help to make dealing with bagworms and other pests easier. 

Leave a Comment