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Caterpillars a pain for Lloydminster residents

Pests are making their presence known across the Border City.

Residents have been taking to social media to describe the state of their trees and homes being covered in tent caterpillars, which take up residence in trees and eat the leaves, which can result in damage to the tree.

According to information put forward by the federal government, the pests only have one generation a year, with each female caterpillar laying a single egg mass. They can best be removed by clipping and destroying the tents and caterpillars themselves, while the insects are at rest in their tent.

A method being described on social media also suggested spraying the pests with a mixture of soap and water, which leads to the death of the insects.

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Tent caterpillar outbreaks are periodic, but do not happen on an exact schedule because they depend on several environmental and biological factors. Although they seldom kill the infested tree, these caterpillars can cause severe damage, often nearly defoliating the entire tree.

If damage is minor and the tree is healthy, the tree can bud again later in the summer. However, repeated defoliation can weaken trees and make them more susceptible to other types of stress.

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