Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Good Times in Suburbia

Just when you think life has lost a little luster, enter bagworms.

We have these juniper-ish, spruce-like shrubs in our front flower bed by the driveway. I have never particularly cared for them, but they've been fascinating to watch grow. Well, it's been interesting to watch all the shrubs grow from what they were to what they are now. When we moved in, the house was brand new, and so were the plantings. I have no experience with landscaping and have basically done nothing to the beds since we moved in besides replacing dead things with a living plant and cutting back when necessary. I've often commented that I'd like different things in the beds, but I don't have the brain or bank account for such a project.

About a week ago, I noticed that the shrubs I call junipers were looking a little brown in one area. I attributed it to the dryness of the past couple of months. I decided in my mind that the next time I cut the front yard, I would trim back some of the dying areas in hopes it would give it a boost. In the past week, we've received a ton of rain at our house, so I had hoped that would help as well. But yesterday, I moved in for a closer look and was quite disturbed.

The little berries that form on the shrub cover the ground below it. Dead needles from the branches are stuck to hundreds of little cone looking things on nearly all the branches. I stood there studying the shrubs I had watched grow over the past seven years, and I thought I saw the shrub move. I tell you that the little cone-looking things hanging on the shrub were moving, slowly swaying from side to side. I stilled myself and slowed my breathing to ensure I wasn't losing it... yep, definitely moving.

Of course, then, I had to figure out what the culprit was. I went and found the clippers, and as I gently pulled one of the cones off, the dark brown head of a wormy looking thing popped out. Makes my skin crawl just thinking about it. So, I did what every red-blooded, 30 something with a question would do... I Googled it.

Bagworms. I am talking hundreds of the things are feeding on the shrubs I never really liked but surely don't want to lose. It's not like the worms are killing the plant... just eating all the needles off it. I guess, over time, that would kill it, but I am not certain. Google informed me that I need to pull each and every one of those cone-looking things off the shrub and follow up with an insecticide. I am thinking, since there are so very many of them, I will have to remove the shrub and then spray all the other evergreens in the flower bed.

Just what I wanted to do today, too. Cut down a prickly shrub, bigger in size than me, covered in the creepiest, nastiest looking worms I've ever seen.

A day in the life in quaint suburbia. Good times... with worms.

No comments: