Tent caterpillars have begun invading the Border City as summer weather hits the area.
Tent caterpillars are a cause for aspen tree decline in Alberta and over time their defoliation of trees has increased tree mortality. The ones in Alberta aren’t the same as in other regions of Canada or the U.S. Instead of creating a tent, the caterpillars congregate in large groups.
Owner of Knights Spraying Brandon Tupper says that the caterpillars become moths in their adult form, and tend to lay their eggs at the end of June. Knowing this, he says, means residents can be ahead in stopping the spread.
“Turn all your lights off, and don’t attract them to your yard, and it’s only for two days. You’ll know its tent caterpillar moths because there are going to be so many of them. If you were to grab one, there would be a kind of a bronzer on your fingers.”
If the moths do end up laying eggs, Tupper says it is very simple to get rid of them before they hatch.
“The easiest way to get rid of [tent caterpillars] is knowing their life cycle, going into the spring the egg sacks are so easy to kill and squish and that’s definitely a safe way of doing it if you’re into squishing.”
As for the caterpillars already hatched, Tupper advises using a broom or water pressure to knock them off the tree as they lower themselves during the day, if that isn’t accessible hiring someone licensed to spray a pesticide is recommended.
Written by Tre Lopushinsky, 106.1 The Goat