Insects bug Armstrong, devastate trees

Since 2014, the city has seen an increase in western tent caterpillar and fall webworm infestations.

  • Oct. 7, 2015 6:00 a.m.

Creepy crawlers are causing conundrums in Armstrong.

Since 2014, the city has seen an increase in western tent caterpillar and fall webworm infestations.

Staff has been receiving numerous inquiries on the eradication and prevention of their nests. Both insects typically hatch once a year.

“These insects have similar properties to one another and can be dealt with in the same fashion without needing to identify which is which,” wrote deputy corporate officer Natalie Garbay in a report to council.

Tent caterpillars and webworms are native to Canada and the U.S. and, typically, their infestations last between two-to-three years and happen again every seven-to-10 years, though the range has fluctuated with changing weather patterns, geographic location and the availability of host trees.

The caterpillars often construct tents in host trees such as willow, apple, plum, cherry and oak. The worms seek out alder, ash, choke-cherry, cottonwood, walnut, willow and fruit trees.

“Tent caterpillars tend to devastate the integrity of their host trees, rendering them susceptible to cold, disease and drought,” said Garbay. “Webworms rarely cause permanent harm to their host trees.”

Natural enemies for both insects include bats, birds, parasitic wasps and small mammals.

Based on information provided by local nurseries and Canadian government recommended websites, the city has posted nine options on its website – – for residents to control and reduce infestations on their properties.

Spraying has not been investigated as an option due to the limitations of spraying near water courses, and the negative impact sprays can have on the beneficial insects the trees and flora need.

Council voted unanimously to have staff research the problem and bring back proposals for the 2016 budget deliberations.


Just Posted

Monty Python’s Spamalot set for Vernon stage

Big Apple Productions raises silliness to an art form

Vernon RCMP ready to arrest, for kids

Suspects sought for North Okanagan Jail & Bail Thursday, May 30

More classrooms on the way for Vernon students

Minister of Education announces 240-seat expansion at BX Elementary

Grammatically incorrect tagging strikes Vernon bylaw office

Anti-tag team will begin working next week to target such vandalism

Brain Injury Awareness Month brings discussion to Vernon

The Vernon Brain Health Symposium takes place June 1

Rally for climate justice strikes Vernon yet again

A handful of students were seen rallying in front of the Okanagan Science Centre

Sit-in on Saturday will protest move to curb loitering in Penticton’s downtown

Nanaimo Square Sit-In is taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Friend of accused Kelowna murderer takes the stand

Elrich Dyck’s testimony continued Friday with details from the night Chris Ausman was killed

Crews respond to smoke at Penticton thrift store

The rooftop A/C unit began filling the building with smoke, prompting them to evacuate

Housing provided for women and children fleeing violence in Penticton

Announcement on Friday is part of a provincewide initiative to construct additional housing.

People’s Party of Canada leader talks B.C. trade to Penticton supporters

Maxime Bernier, head of the new federal political party, spoke at Time Winery on Friday

Princeton RCMP recover stolen homework and save the grade

It’s a slightly better excuse than “the dog ate my homework.” Earlier… Continue reading

New Summerland distillery has received recognition

Alchemist Distiller won audience choice award at recent competition

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read