Brown Cedar worms w/ carry-on baggage ?

skyblossom(US-7)July 3, 2008

My Cedar has recently become infested with worms that have some type of soft, brown "shell" that they carry around with them. They attach to the tree with their mouths and their covered bottoms wiggle in the air.

I have just tried spraying them, and don't know if my tree is going to survive. It seems healthy so far.

Does anyone know what insect this might be?

The worms are brown like a mealyworm, segmented, and thin; not fat like catapillars. They are approx. 3/4 to 1 inch long.They use some type of filament to drop down or go up when they are not busy eating the Cedar bark.

They don't seem interested in the foliage, just the bark. Once they attach to the bark, they don't lay flat; they are horizontal eaters.

Thank you for any help :)

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Dear Sky B,

Thank you very much for your inquiry. I just got my answer from my Entomologist ET, Terry Davis. He is very thorough with his answers and instructions. Read below.


I suggest she collect a few of them - preferably in the "worm" stage, the brown "shell" stage and the "filament" stage (as many stages as possible). They need to be put in a small container containing isopropyl alcohol. Several clear pictures of live ones would be helpful. I also need to know how big the cedar is, what is nearby in the way of lawn and trees (and woods), what she sprayed on the cedar and what kinds of things have been applied the last several years to the lawn. It would also be important to know just how many of them there seem to be in all of the different stages.

Again, thanks for the question and let me know if you have more.


Trey Rogers, The Briggs & Stratton Yard Doctor,

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 7:53AM
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I have the same thing in my cedar. It appears to be eating the entire bush. I have taken several pictures along with a video of them "moving". Were you able to find out what they were and how to get rid of them?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 8:50PM
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i have the same exact things but they are in my bathroom. i have NO idea what they are and i really want to know. just because they're here and i've never seen a bug like that before. This is the only thing i've found with the exact description of what im looking for, but you guys dont know what they are either :/

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 1:56AM
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hey i actually just found out what these are. they are called "the plaster bagworm" or "case bearing moth" because they eventually turn into generally small, light-brown moths. they eat hair and cobwebs. they're pretty much harmless. 30 minutes of research and i finally found out what they are and then i thought i'd tell you :] heres a link with pictures and more descriptions for your convenience.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 3:15AM
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I had the same thing on one of my cedars and not on the other 7 cedar trees. I pulled off every one last week which covered my tree killing it mostly dry now--sucking all the sap out of it and I stepped on everyone I pulled off. Well, I sprayed paint the color green to protect the bark and to discourage future bagworms but there was more today and I pulled off and stepped on all. I don't like the ideal these eat hair, lol but most of all I don't like it because they are killing my tree so therefore, these are harmful to certain cedar trees. I always heard in the past from ole timers to pull these off the tree and destroy before they destroy the tree.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 2:45PM
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