Caterpillars infest Scarborough neighbourhood
Furry bugs apparently love Crabapple trees
Residents of a Scarborough neighbourhood are turning to the city for help with a massive bug infestation — caterpillars have taken over their street.
The Crabapple-tree-lined street is picturesque, but the trees are apparently a favourite of the furry creatures.
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Residents of Redhead Cres., near McCowan Road and Finch Ave., want the city to do something.
"It's icky! It is an infestation, and we would like some help," said resident Perla Cadiente. "They're all over the place."
She said they're on the street, on their houses, and they even fall on the residents occasionally.
Another resident, Sayeed Arif, has been Cadiente's neighbour since 1983. He said this is a first for the street.
"We haven't seen them before … Last year it wasn't anything like this."
The city says it can't do anything.
"It's too late in the season because larva finished development in the nest," said Alex Bykov, a forest healthcare inspector for the city.
He said the city would have been able to help two weeks ago, before the larva hatched. He added that they did deal with this problem in a number of other neighbourhoods.
"We were still going around pruning out nests … and burning them with a torch."
Bykov said the problem will be short-lived.
"The good news is that one week from now they will disappear completely."
There is a city program that allows residents to replace Crabapple trees on their property with another type of tree that does not attract caterpillars. Bykov said there is a cost to the homeowner, but the solution is permanent