How to Get Rid of Cankerworms

May 1, 2024
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What is a Cankerworm?

Understanding the Cankerworm Lifecycle

Cankerworms are the larval form of a North American moth species with wingless females. There are two types: spring and fall cankerworms, both of which hatch in early spring and begin feeding voraciously on tree leaves.

Are Cankerworms Dangerous?

The Impact on Trees and Ecosystems

While cankerworms do not pose a direct threat to humans or pets, they can be dangerous to trees. Prolonged infestations can lead to:

  • Severe defoliation
  • Increased susceptibility to diseases
  • Sunscald and dieback

Our specialists at Caldwell Tree Care prioritize the health of your trees and can help mitigate these risks.

a cankerworm eating a tree
Image Credit Bill Smith UNC

Where are Cankerworms Usually Found?

Identifying Cankerworm Habitats

Cankerworms have a preference for certain trees, with elm, oak, and apple being among their favorites. They are typically found in areas where these trees are prevalent. However, they can be found on a wide variety of tree species across different landscapes.

How to Get Rid of Cankerworms

Effective Cankerworm Management Techniques

Controlling cankerworms is crucial for the health of your trees. Our experts at Caldwell Tree Care recommend a multifaceted approach:

  • Biological Control: The use of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) formulations has proven to be a game-changer. This biological control agent specifically targets and eliminates cankerworm larvae without harming beneficial insects.
  • Trunk Banding: This mechanical method involves wrapping a band around the trunk of the tree to trap wingless female cankerworms. It is highly effective, especially for trees that stand alone.
  • Cultural Controls: Maintaining tree health through proper fertilization and watering can make them less susceptible to cankerworm damage.

Implementing a Treatment Program

Timing is everything when it comes to treating cankerworm infestations. Treatments with Bt are most effective when caterpillars are young and actively feeding. Monitoring and early intervention are key components of our service offerings at Caldwell Tree Care.

The Caldwell Tree Care Advantage

At Caldwell Tree Care, we’re not just about treating problems; we’re about preventing them. We believe in integrated pest management strategies that keep your trees healthy and your property looking its best. We are the Tree Experts Roswell, GA and help customers like you everyday to have their landscape looking its best.

Your Trees Deserve the Best Protection

With our comprehensive understanding of cankerworm behavior, life cycle, and treatment options, we are well-equipped to protect your trees from these voracious pests. Contact us to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a cankerworm-free landscape.