Spring is here and so are the cankerworms!
With the beautiful spring weather comes green grass, budding trees, and beautiful flowers. Unfortunately, in Saskatchewan, spring has also brought cankerworms to many locations throughout the province. Better known as inchworms, these little guys will keep the residents of Saskatchewan on their toes this year.
Cankerworms love maple, elm and ash trees so if you have any species on your property be sure to keep an eye out for these destructive insects.
Adult males are small, brownish-grey moths with wings and females are dark brownish-grey moths and wingless. Wingless females emerge from the soil to climb up into your trees where they will then mate and lay eggs for the next year. They lay their eggs in the crown of the tree in large amounts. During the larval stage, there is only one way to identify a cankerworm: false legs. Spring cankerworms have two pairs of false legs, and fall cankerworms have three. These false legs can be seen at the rear of the caterpillar.
There are two species of cankerworm, spring, and fall. In early spring, the spring species emerge to lay eggs where the fall species emerge to lay eggs in early fall. Both sets of larvae emerge in the spring as the leaves appear and feed on foliage until the early summer months. When feeding is complete in early summer, they fall to the ground and enter the soil where they will remain until they are adults. The following spring or fall, depending on the species, is when the adults emerge from the ground to start the process over again.
Potential for Damage
Cankerworms cause damage by defoliating your trees during their larval stage. Their initial feeding leaves “shot holes” in the leaves of your trees, however, after some time, you will notice nothing remains of the leaves on your tree except the veins. Most leaves will re-grow within a few weeks of an attack by cankerworms, however, when infested for several years in a row the crown of a tree can die.
Depending on the number of trees you have, the process of controlling cankerworms is different. If you only have a small number of trees, tree banding is an excellent way to save your trees. The bands are covered with a sticky adhesive which prevents wingless females from climbing the trees to lay eggs. To control spring worms, bands need to be in place from mid-March to late April and for fall worms late September to early November. If you are unsuccessful with the bands or have too many affected trees there are chemical and other alternative control mechanisms that can be applied by your local pest protection company.
Dealing with cankerworms doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking for any homeowner. With one call to Premier Pest Management, we can have you bidding adieu to your cankerworm problem in the Regina area.
Premier Pest is happy to announce that we have a BRAND new sprayer in our arsenal of equipment specifically designed to combat this problem.
Aside from the city of Regina (who only treats their own trees), We believe that we are the only company in the Regina area with the equipment and spray product to tackle the cankerworms in a safe and suitable way.
We can spray your trees with an environmentally-friendly product that will exterminate your canker problem while keeping everything else on your property safe and sound!
Call us today!
Premier Pest Management / (306) 992-6066