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Is there a spray for canker worms?

If you have a canker worm infestation you can apply chemicals- but you have to catch the infestation early. The best time to spray pesticides on your trees is when the canker worms are still young (less than a half-inch long), two weeks after they’ve hatched. It can be difficult to detect this before it’s too late. This is usually in the first two weeks of April- but timing is everything. By the time we typically notice canker worms (when they dangle from the trees and get caught in our hair) it’s too late to spray for canker worms. Charlotte's city arborist is watching for the signs of hatching and will decide, on a yearly basis, if spraying will be helpful. Of course, the best way to manage an infestation is to prevent it by using tree bands. In fact, Charlotte has a very active tree banding program in place, to keep our tree canopy healthy and beautiful.

Is there a natural way to get rid of canker worms?

There are a couple of natural ways to get rid of canker worms. For one, you can use a bacteria-based pesticide. These pesticides only affect certain insects (like canker worms) and won’t hurt other, beneficial insects (such as bees). This kind of targeted attack can be tricky. You have to apply this pesticide early in their life cycle. This is usually before we see them hanging down, on their silk, from the tree. A another natural way to get rid of canker worms is through predators. There are several creatures that eat canker worms. Some birds, insects and even rodents will eat them. The problem is the canker worms strategy to survive is through their large numbers. There are so many canker worms that predators can’t possibly eat them all. Another natural approach to canker worms is to let them do their thing, but take care of the tree. While most trees will be able to replace their leaves, after the canker worms go to town on them, this is much easier when the tree is healthy. Make su

How to band trees for canker worms?

To properly band your trees, you're going to need 4 items: Tanglefoot Tree Insect Barrier (for the last couple years, this has been unavailable in Charlotte- you'll need to order it from Amazon). Paper or tree wrap. This is what you'll apply the insect barrier to. Insulation. This prevents the canker worm moths from crawling under your barrier. Tape or staples. This will hold the paper to the tree. It's been difficult to get these items in Charlotte, over the last couple of years. Amazon is the best way to get them, so I've provided the links, above. It's been difficult to get these items in Charlotte, over the last couple of years. Amazon is the best way to get them, so I've provided the links, above.

When do you band trees for cankerworms?

You will want to band your trees in the fall. When the weather starts to get cooler, the adult canker worms hatch. After breeding, the wingless-females crawl up the tree to lay their eggs. You need to catch them before they reach the highest point of the tree, where they want to lay their eggs. If you can band your trees before they hatch, you can catch them before they lay their eggs. This will prevent the inchworms from getting in your hair- and defoliating your trees- in the springtime, when they hatch.

Why do canker worms hang from trees?

A canker worm is actually the larval form of a moth. When you see a canker worm, it is a cute little baby moth, enjoying life and exploring it's new world. They are hanging from trees because they are trying to get into the ground below the tree. When they reach the ground they burrow in and create a cocoon. There they wait, transforming into their adult form. They will hatch from their cocoons sometime in the fall, when things start to cool off. At that point they will breed. The females (who are wingless) crawl up the tree to lay their eggs. That way, next year, there will be plenty of icky inchworms hanging from trees and getting in your clothes. This is why the best way to handle canker worm infestations it to band your trees. This prevents the female moths from crawling up the tree and laying their eggs.