CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Consider yourself warned!
The City of Charlotte is asking every homeowner to consider taking steps to protect trees from the cankerworm — a tiny bug that eats nonstop across Charlotte every spring.
Female cankerworms will soon climb to the tops of trees and lay eggs on twigs. Those eggs hatch early next year and the worms will feast on the new leaves for weeks. The damaged leaves will weaken a tree and city officials say a tree could die in as little as five years.
Officials held a webinar Wednesday afternoon to inform the public about the worms and the steps they can take to fight back.
"We do offer the service if you're not able to do it, or don't want to take the time," said Vickie Coggin, who works with Blackhawk Hardware. "They can destroy the tree bit by bit."
Blackhawk Hardware, which is located in the Park Road Shopping Center, is fully stocked with everything needed for "banding" trees. Using insulation, tar paper, and "tanglefoot sticky goo," the band creates a seal around the trunk of a tree, which prevents the bugs from getting to the canopy.
"It's very important because when they go up, the bands and the tanglefoot is what catches them when they go up," said Debbie Hamilton. "If they do go up, they will just eat your leaves and destroy your trees, so it's very important."
Hamilton said the most common mistake is not getting a tight seal around the trunk, allowing for a few worms to avoid the barrier.
City officials say people should starting banding trees around the last week of November.