WINNIPEG – They’re on the sidewalks. They’re in the trees. Forest tent caterpillars have invaded the city.
Taz Stuart of Poulin’s Pest Control says the caterpillars come in cycles and this year is expected to be especially bad.
“I was riding my bike last night and I was counting. One tree had probably a hundred all bunched up. Another tree a couple hundred. It was like, oh geez, how many moths are going to be out the middle of July. It’s going to be insane,” he said.
Aside from being creepy crawly, Stuart says they will feed voraciously on your tree’s leaves, which can be problematic for older trees.
He says there are ways to get rid of them.
“Taking a broom, sweeping them off. Aerosols with permethrin in them kills them instantly of if you want to go a little more harsher with chemicals, you can go with a contact insecticide like malathion and spray them and kill them that way.”
You can spray them with water, but Stuart says it’s not the most effective way to get rid of them.
“The thing is if you don’t get a big strong stream and kill them with the water, you’re just going to push them off and they’ll crawl back up on the tree anyways. It’s kind of a waste of time in my opinion,” he said.
The city has been spraying for the caterpillars. They have more information on getting rid of them here.