CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It’s not easy being green, or an inch long, but there is strength in numbers. It’s the time of year when our least invited guests climb a tree near you and drop on your head. Of course, we’re talking about canker worms. Spring is the time when the little caterpillar-like pests try to climb trees to reach the new leaves. The worms need to eat the leaves to grow and reproduce. That’s a problem for the trees, according to Charlotte City Arborist Don McSween.
“The canker worm caterpillar that’s hatching right now -- all they want are leaves.”
McSween urges homeowners to “ban” their trees. It’s a process that places a sticky ring of tape and goo around the tree’s truck to trap the worms. It’s important because trees store extra nutrients in the canopy, and if attacked by the worms year after year, coupled with drought, the tree will likely die. The bottom line is this a few worms are fine; an army of invaders is not.
McSween has seen the worst that the canker worms can dish out and it isn’t pretty.
“Had a lady call me last year with webs all over her front door. She was afraid to go out the house.”