First it was tent caterpillars, and now moths appear to be invading Regina.
They’re covering apartment buildings, garage doors, sidewalks and even the police station.
— Regina Police (@reginapolice) June 30, 2016
“Absolutely, they’re coming out of nowhere,” said Hailey Hackywicz, when asked if it looks like ‘Revenge of the Moths’ in parts of the city.
She says it almost seems like the moths have multiplied after the caterpillar stage, especially around her building because she didn’t notice many tent caterpillars.
“There was about 200 moths around the doorway. You kind of had to work your way into the house this morning, it was a bit of a mess.”
For many people, the moths seemed to appear all at once overnight. Pictures of swarms of moths were popping up on social media from all different areas of the city on Thursday.
Moths all over Hyundai Regina on Broad Street. 8am 30JUN2016 pic.twitter.com/zqeyNp6afw
— Notanee Bourassa (@DJHardwired) June 30, 2016
Johslyne Richards was surprised to see the numbers Thursday morning.
“I got out to my car and my car was covered,” she said. “They’re very sticky and they followed me to work – they wouldn’t fly off the car at all. They are relentless.”
When she arrived at work, Richards faced even more moths covering the walls of the building.
“It was like black with moths. It was gross.”
She said she’s still deciding which are worse, moths or caterpillars, because the moths were slapping her in the face while walking to the park.
“I’m not sure – the caterpillars, they’re all of a sudden on you can’t feel them and they’re pretty gross … I think … I think the caterpillars are grosser.”
— Curious Cris (@curiousitycris) June 30, 2016
Ray Morgan is the director of parks and open space for the City of Regina. He explained that the city did spray 8,000 trees for tent caterpillars, but unfortunately they can’t do anything on private property. So after maturing from the caterpillar stage, these brown moths are spreading their wings and covering the city.
So what’s the good news?
“If you’re seeing a moth today, they have about a five-day window to reproduce and then they die, but because the cankerworms were staged over a two-to-three-week period, we’re going to see a number of moths emerge and then die then a few more moths emerge and die over a two-week period,” Morgan explained.
He said while they are in their mating stage, moths do not eat anything so they won’t wreck your trees.
“A good form of control if people want, if residents or businesses are affected by the moths, I would suggest hosing them down with a good garden hose with high pressure, or sweeping them up and then double bagging them,” Morgan said.
He noted that any efforts people can make to get rid of the moths now should help control the population next year, but it also depends on the weather. If we get another mild winter without a stretch of really cold weather, then we can expect to see tent caterpillars and moths out in similar numbers to this year.