Thursday, October 10, 2019

Combatting Fall Cankerworms

Though trees seem solid and resilient, trees can succumb to a number of pests. From aphids to southern pine beetles, pests can weaken trees and destroy entire gardens. Shrubs and trees in an urban environment are particularly vulnerable to pests and diseases. Perhaps one of the most underrated, yet most destructive, pests is the fall cankerworm.

What are cankerworms?

Fall cankerworms (also known as looper worms) get their name from their life cycle. Having been laid in the fall, their eggs hatch in late spring. This pest immediately starts devouring buds and young leaves, transforming trees into wooden skeletons.

Warning signs of fall cankerworms

Fall cankerworms will first start dropping onto your car, patio table, or sidewalk. If you spot green-brownish worms with stripes on their backs, watch out. These worms eat the foliage of maple, hickory, and other hardwood trees. If you notice leaves getting holes and ragged edges, then it’s possible the fall cankerworm pest has hit your trees.

How fall cankerworms can harm trees

Fall cankerworms don’t just make your trees look ugly by devouring their leaves and buds. These worms rob trees of their energy sources and vitality. Without leaves—where photosynthesis happens—trees will starve. As a result, your trees will become weak and vulnerable to disease.

How to get rid of fall cankerworms

Call the professionals if fall cankerworms have infested your trees and shrubs. Our most effective method to prevent fall cankerworm pests at Schneider Shrub and Tree Care consists in tree banding. We wrap bands covered with a sticky substance around tree trunks. The sticky bands trap moths when they’re climbing up to lay their eggs.

Aside from periodic checks to ensure the bands remain debris-free, this method costs less than using insecticide, which requires multiple applications each week.

Insect pests like fall cankerworms aren’t the only things that can pose a threat to the health of your shrubs and trees. Diseases and malnutrition can harm your shrubs and trees just as much as an army of ravenous fall cankerworms. Schneider Shrub and Tree Care offers a three-tier healthcare program that’ll help your plants resist pests and thrive for years to come.

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