Control for Cankerworms in the Fall

 

by Ann Barnes

Cankerworms, those little green inchworms that drop from trees in the spring, are not usually a pest that crosses our minds in the fall. However, if you have had issues with cankerworms in previous years, you can band your trees now to lessen next spring’s population. Banding involves wrapping the trunks of trees with paper or cloth strips, then applying a sticky substance called Tanglefoot. Adult cankerworms pupate in the ground below trees. Females are wingless, and crawl up tree trunks to lay their eggs on twigs. Fall cankerworms, one of two species commonly found in our area, pupate in late fall. Treating now will trap females, keeping them from reproducing. If these traps are kept in place and maintained through April, spring cankerworm populations will also be reduced.

The video below shows how to treat your trees.

https://union.ces.ncsu.edu/2016/11/cankerworms/

https://stanly.ces.ncsu.edu/2017/09/controlling-cankerworm-with-tree-banding-is-a-fall-task/

https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/trees/note153/note153.htm

Learn With Us, week of November 8

Wildflowers in Your Landscape, Extension Garden Seminar
Sunday, Nov 8, 2015 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Where: Durham County Public Library, South Regional Branch, 4505 South Alston Avenue

Adding wildflowers to your landscape gives your home a sense of place, supports native wildlife, and are quite beautiful! Learn about our North Carolina native wildflowers and leave with ideas for adding plants to your garden. Presented by Nan Len, Durham County Extension Volunteer Master Gardener.
Class is free. Registration required. Contact: 919-560-7410
To Register: durhamcountylibrary.org – Click on ‘Events’ to find the calendar of events. Go to the date of the class and sign up.

 

Canker Worm Workshop
Wednesday, Nov 11, 2015 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: Durham county Cooperative Extension, 721 Foster Street, Durham

Canker worms, those creepy green worms that fall from the sky. Want to learn how to get rid of them? Canker worms are destroying our Willow Oaks. Join the band wagon to fight these pests. Find out how at our informational sessions with experts from Duke University, Durham County Cooperative Extension, and the City of Durham. More information and dates: www.TreesAcrossDurham.org

 

Composting, Extension Gardening Seminar
Thursday, Nov 12, 2015 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Where: Sarah P. Duke Gardens, 420 Anderson Street, Durham

Presented by Georganne Sebastian & Darcey Martin, Durham county Extension Master Gardener Volunteers. Discover the basics of successful composting & vermicomposting. Learn how to transform food scrap, leaves, & other organic materials into a nutrient-rich soil conditioner that will benefit your lawn & gardens.
Class is free. Registration required. Contact: gardenseducation@duke.edu 919-668-1707

11/14 – Getting Dirty Radio Show
Meet the Blue Beech Tree
Carol McPherson introduces us to the perfect tree —the Blue Beech, also know as Musclewood, Ironwood, or Water Beech tree.  Find out if this tree is perfect for you too?
 Listen live on WCOM 103.5 FM (Carrboro) on Tuesdays at 2:00 PM or visit http://gettingdirtyradioshow.org/ to listen to shows you’ve missed.

Insect Pests We’re Noticing Now – Cankerworms

If you’ve been outside in the past week or so, you’ve probably noticed little green inchworms. While my 9 year old daughter thinks they’re adorable, they are actually pests called cankerworms. Two species, spring and fall cankerworms, hatch in early spring. The larvae (those inchworms we’re seeing) feed on young leaves before dropping to the ground on a silk thread. The larvae then pupate in leaf litter through the summer. When the adults emerge, the females climb trees and deposit eggs on twigs. Fall cankerworm adults climb in October – November, while spring cankerworm adults emerge in early spring.

While these cankerworms will generally not kill a tree, they can defoliate enough branches to cause the tree to be unsightly, and could potentially weaken trees.

While control of these pests would be difficult and costly at this time of year, banding your trees and applying a sticky substance called Tanglefoot (TM) in the fall can trap the adult females and prevent them from laying eggs. This video from NCSU shows how to apply the bands to a tree. Workshops have been held in Durham during previous fall months, and will be publicized here when scheduled in the coming autumn.

This Week on Getting Dirty Radio

Getting Dirty with Durham County Master Gardeners Radio Show  – Broadcasts Tuesdays at 2:00 pm on WCOM 103.5  Can be heard live or replayed any time at http://gettingdirtyradioshow.org
 
August 26 – Looking Ahead to Spring and Stop the Cankerworm Invasion.  The Enthusiastic Gardener, Charles Murphy, encourages us to start planning for spring color by planting fall bulbs.  Lise Jenkins interviews Durham’s Urban Forest Manager Alex Johnson, about city plans to stop the invasion of Cankerworms and the threat they pose to Durham’s trees.

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