City Begins Localised Cankerworm Control Program

June 01, 2012


The Insect Control Branch announced the start of its cankerworm control program for City trees. This season’s program will be treating very selective City boulevards and focussing on City cemeteries and parks, where cankerworms are starting to cause significant levels of defoliation. Current surveillance information indicates that the larvae are feeding on the leaves, causing many small holes known as “shot hole” damage.


The Insect Control Branch will begin its cankerworm control program Monday, May 21, 2012 at 9:30 p.m. Tree spraying will be carried out inInsect Management Area 50, Jefferson and Seven Oaks neighbourhoods and Kildonan Park. Throughout the program, surveillance crews will continue to identify areas of the city where trees require treatment.


Cankerworm Control Program Details


A Public Service Announcement will be issued daily providing information on what treed areas of the city will be sprayed the following day. This announcement will also be posted on the Insect Control website. The cankerworm treatment program will normally occur five nights per week, Sunday to Thursday from 9:30 p.m. – 5:30 a.m., weather permitting.


Recent monitoring of the adult cankerworm population indicates that most areas of the city will have minimal damage except on some very localized streets where major defoliation may occur due to the cankerworm larvae feeding on the foliage of the large stands of American Elm, Manitoba Maple, Green Ash, and ornamental trees, the preferred host for spring and fall cankerworms.


Treatment will be conducted utilizing Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk), a biological, organic product, which is sprayed from high pressure tree sprayers directly onto the foliage of the trees. Once Btk is ingested by cankerworms, they stop feeding and die approximately two to three days later.


Homeowners are responsible for cankerworm control on their property


Citizens can spray their own trees with Btk, which is available at most home and garden centres or they can contract a tree spraying company by referring to the yellow pages under tree service or exterminators.


Homeowners are reminded to remove tree bands


Please remember to remove any tree bands as the band will damage the bark of the tree if left on throughout the summer. To control fall cankerworm please put new sticky bands up in early September.


General Information


Property owners not wanting insecticides applied on or adjacent to their principle residence may register as “Anti-Pesticide Registrants” for both cankerworm and/or adult nuisance mosquito control programs. Those who wish to register must provide identification that ties the registrant to the address being registered for a buffer zone. A photocopy or scanned document like a driver’s licence, Manitoba Hydro, MTS or other utility bill will suffice as acceptable identification proving primary residence. There are four options to register. In writing to Insect Control Branch at 3 Grey Street, R2L 1V2, by faxing or e-mailing 311, or in person at 1539 Waverley Street. Please remember a minimum 72-hour turnaround time is required for processing.


Citizens may register for email notification regarding cankerworm and/or adult mosquito and/or gypsy moth control programs by visiting the Insect Control website. They can also register for telephone notification by calling 311 and leaving their name, address and phone number. Once registered, residents will receive automated phone or email notification identifying the area(s) of the City in which the Insect Control crews are intending to work, weather permitting.


Interested individuals may acquire more information by contacting 311, or by visiting the City’s Insect Control website.