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canker worms, inch worms, span worms, tree worms??? HELP! Answered

inch worms are devouring all my trees, i want them dead. I run a daycare in my home so I would prefer not to kill the children too! thanks!


Your a bit late to do this but I used a piece of open cell foam wrapped around the tree trunk, and covered it with Aluminum tape (( Not duct tape, but Aluminum foil tape )) and then put a thin layer of clear grease on it... They can't get under the foam, and they have to go over the tape but they end up getting stuck in the grease... since you have kids around there you could use a white petroleum jelly like vaseline..... and the open cell foam doesn't bother the tree, but you should peel it off before winter ...


10 years ago

We have them bad here in Regina, that's for sure. They're getting better, but that doesn't make me feel much better, I dunno about you...

Unfortunately, short of spraying the trees (a couple of options there--the City of Regina recommends something containing the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Bt.k.), but various pesticides will work), there isn't much you can do until the fall. It's too late to band now--it won't do any good and it looks ugly.

I recommend re-banding the trees at the beginning of April and the beginning of September. The female moths are actually wingless, so when they climb the trees to lay eggs, they'll get caught.

Take a look at the City of Regina's website on Trees and their pests: http://www.regina.ca/Trees/cankerworm_problems.htm

Good luck!! If you find a solution, be sure to let me know.

I actually don't know much about inchworm-killing, or inchworms themselves for that matter. I have apple and maple trees, and once saw an inchworm, but they haven't turned into a big problem. They seem to have, in fact, gone away on their own. I'm assuming this won't be the case for you. What kind of tree is getting eaten, how big/old is it (I ask both because I have some very small trees for their age, and some very big ones for their age. It might matter.) How much water do they get? How hot does it get, and how cold does it get? Has it been more or less cold/hot lately? Did you or any of your neighbors make a major landscaping change lately?

hi, i'm in Saskatchewan, it gets cold like somewhere between the sub arctic and the temperate, it is dry, prairies down to near freezing at night in the summer and as hot as 30 or more Celsius in summer. The trees are gigantic old elms, the whole city is infested with them and unfortunately (the socialist paradise Canada isn't,) our city is hardly spraying for them. I want to know how to do it myself affordably and non-toxic/ sustainably.

I know that feeling... four seasons, three of which are winter. If you want to kill the elms, you should probably poison them (my dad poisoned an elm for five years, though, and it wouldn't die, so it might not work). I don't know if you would let the daycare kids in the yard, but if not and you want to remove the tree, have it cut down and then have someone (there are special machines--basically big syringes) inject copper sulfate into the root structure until it's dead. But if you do that, you'll have no tree, and will have given yourself a mushroom problem. We ripped out 13 big elms about 15 years ago, and in hindsight, we would have kept them, the mushrooms on the dead roots have been so bad. But I bet you'd like to keep your trees, so that won't work. It seems like the inchworms can take the cold up there, so so much for hoping for a cold snap this winter, eh? Apparently the inchworms have hatched this year, and will soon, if not already, be burying into the ground. Then they won't some up till winter-o-clock, or maybe November, when they'll lay eggs like the Alien. Or something like that. One idea that is pesticide free would be to get that plastic ground-sheet stuff like they put under rock gardens and gravel driveways, which is designed to stop all plant growth. Your trees will still be needing water, so put a soaker hose or something under the sheet, then lay it down over your whole yard. make sure that nothing can get out from under it, and leave it there until next spring. Beware overwatering, as fungus can happen easily under the groundsheet. Doing it that way would be unsightly and kill your lawn, but would also hopefully kill all of the inchworm moths on your property. Then next year, you could re-seed the grass or put down sod, after the groundsheet is removed. That's the only method I can think of, but I'm known for trying to kill a fly-sized problem with a a Howitzer-size solution. One problem with that idea is that if any of your neigbor's inchworm moths decide to lay eggs in your tree, you still have an inchworm issue. But from what I understand, the only way to be 100% sure that wouldn't happen would be to spray with pesticides.

thanks for the help, i don't want to kill trees, they're pretty beautiful here but i've been asking around and apparently you can kill them with a dishsoap water solution.

Really? That seems almost too easy. Trees are pretty. People take them out too often without thought, especially big old ones. Unless it is wrecking the foundation, all of the plumbing, or is literally so sick it is about to die (or has already died), a tree gets to stay on my land. Well, good luck with your inchworm removal. I hope the dish soap method works!

I remember the time we were invaded by tent caterpillars, not pretty. Every single tree was covered with them. A lot of trees were destroyed, it was bad. You just have to have been here to see the scale of it, it was like something straight out of a horror/Sci-fi film.

I don't know anything about inchworms, but I remember burning/ shooting* the tent worms.

*With an airsoft gun.


yup pretty similar, soooo gross, i can't even sit outside cause i wanna vomit, walking to my car i get covered in their hanging webs and they get in everyones hair and face and clothes, it's so horrible. We have a short summer in Saskatchewan and I'm spending it indoors right now because my yard is so bad and all the over hanging elms on the road are covered too.

Are they edible?

If they make nest, burn them. Otherwise a mixture of bleach and capsicum might sent them elsewhere.