A sticky residue has consistently appeared on vehicles and sidewalks this summer in the Queen City.
And it’s all because of a sap-sucking pest that can damage trees.
“It’s a crazy year for aphids,” stated Russell Eirich, the city’s manager of forestry, pest control and horticulture.
He said they’ve had 100 calls for service this year. The year before they received zero calls.
“The aphids are taking some of the juices out of the leaves…they’re creating a honeydew residue which is nice and sweet. It attracts wasps and ants,” he explained. “At a certain point, the residue cannot stay on the leaves, there’s just too much and it starts to drip off. It drips onto our cars, drips onto the sidewalks.”
Eirich said some sidewalks are turning a bit brown because of that residue.
In July, the city released 300,000 ladybugs to try and help bring aphid numbers down. But the pests thrive in hot and dry conditions, and with a lack of rain in Regina, trees haven’t been able to get showered off.
That’s where homeowners come in.
“Go out with your hoses and spray some cold water on the leaves of the trees and rinse it off,” said Eirich on what steps can be taken.
The city did have a spray program by request, although that will come to an end soon. Eirich said the main reason is manpower, as summer students head back to university.