Manitoba

Caterpillar numbers low, except for three unlucky neighbourhoods, city says

Believe it or not, cankerworm and forest tent caterpillar numbers are relatively low in most Winnipeg neighbourhoods, according to the city.

Spraying continues in city parks, boulevards

The City of Winnipeg says cankerworm and forest tent caterpillar numbers are low for most areas of Winnipeg this spring. (Chris Seto/CBC)

Believe it or not, cankerworm and forest tent caterpillar numbers are relatively low in most Winnipeg neighbourhoods, according to the city.

Aside from a few pockets in the West End, River Heights and North Kildonan — which are seeing higher numbers of the dastardly critters — city officials say the caterpillar counts are down on average.

They say the cankerworm numbers have been low for the last few years because their population is cyclical, but those numbers are starting to trend back up. At the same time, though, forest tent caterpillar populations are starting to fall as their cycle trends downwards.

The city is continuing to spray for tree pest caterpillars in city parks and on city boulevards, using BTK, an organically certified product that causes the insects to stop eating and die of starvation. A list of areas that have been sprayed can be found here.

If you've had enough of navigating through the hanging worms every spring, the city recommends banding trees with Tanglefoot in mid-September to trap the female moths that lay caterpillar eggs for the following year. Information on tree banding can be found here.

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