Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal – A How To

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal shows how to get rid of tent caterpillars on small trees. The video also briefly diverts to cedar apple rust.

The Hunt

Every morning I grab my cup of coffee and walk around the homestead.  This is therapy for me to just relax, take in nature, enjoy the work that I have done, and to look for items that need to be addressed.  One of those items that occasionally needs to be addressed is pests on the plants.  Recently on my walks I noticed that tent caterpillars have moved into my orchard and needed to be taken care of.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

These particular caterpillars are attacking my pear tree, apple tree, cherry tree, elderberry bush and a blue berry bush. The caterpillars build silk tents around the leaves and then they proceed to eat the leaves.  They do not eat all the way through the leaves but do eat enough of the leaves so that they turn brown.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal

Why not attack later in the day?

The caterpillars move like caffeine addicts on a coffee high in the afternoon.  They are also spread out to various spots on the tree.  I have found that the caterpillars are very slow moving in the morning and that is a good time to get them when they are all in the nest.  For this reason, I usually plan my caterpillar assault in the early morning before work.

The Attack!

My method of killing these little boogers is to drown them in water.  I take a 5-gallon bucket and add some dish soap to it.  Then I fill the bucket about half to three-quarters of the way up with warm water.  The warm water is for me, so my hands don’t freeze as they would with cold water.  The soap is to break the buoyancy so the caterpillars will not be able to “walk on water” – they will sink.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal – Bucket

The Cut

For my tree this year, I was able to cut the branches.  All of the caterpillars were at the end of the branches and there were not too many.  I just cut the end of the branches off where the caterpillars were and dropped the entire branch in the water and pushed it under with my hands (this is where warm water helps).  If they were in the middle of a branch or on a branch that I did not want to cut, I would pull the caterpillars off by hand, but you do risk missing some caterpillars or some eggs.

The Video

Click on the picture below to view the Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal YouTube video.

Tent Caterpillar Removal Bag Worm Removal YouTube

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Yellow Spots on Apple Leaves

During my walks, I have noticed about half of my apple trees have yellow/brown spots on the leaves.  This is usually a condition known as cedar apple rust.  It is caused by having a plant in the cedar/juniper family close by and it having a fungus on it.  Cedar apple rust requires a plant in the cedar family and in the apple family to complete its life cycle.

Cedar Apple Rust

Cedar Apple Rust

The fungus does not usually kill the plant, but can cause a reduction or loss of fruit production.  The issue is worse on years when you have a very wet spring.  There are treatments that you can spray on the apple trees, but I don’t care to use chemicals and usually just let it run its course and it is usually better next year.

Cedar Apple Rust Resistant

There are cedar apple rust resistant plants available.  About half of my trees at the farm are resistant.  In 2017, the trees that were not resistant did not bear fruit at all because we had such a wet spring that the fungus went crazy and took too much energy from the trees to produce fruit.  The resistant trees produced just fine.

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