As the season for summer pests winds down, the City of Regina wants homeowners to do one simple thing to prevent another pest from becoming a problem next year.
“Band your trees now and you’ll really prevent a lot of damage next year,” said Russell Eirich, the city’s manager of forestry, pest control and horticulture.
The banding, in this case, is to prevent female cankerworms from laying eggs and potentially becoming a concern for trees in 2018 as eggs hatch and numbers skyrocket. He said they are a defoliating insect which can stress out trees.
Eirich said people can also be impacted as the worms can fall from the trees onto heads and into hair.
“It’s more of the gross factor that drives everyone crazy around here but it really is about protecting the trees first.”
Elm, maple and fruit trees are the ones to band said Eirich. He said people can take something like a piece of fibre glass insulation and wrap it around a tree, cover that with a black garbage bag and then duct tape it down.
Mosquito numbers ‘well below average’
While the potential exists for that pest to flourish if steps aren’t taken now, another pest that has almost been non-existent this year has been the mosquito.
Their numbers have been below average for most of the summer, which Eirich called “perfect.”
“We just can’t get a better year than we’ve had for mosquitoes,” he said.
He joked next year is not going to be like this one.
Little rain and extended hot and dry conditions have left very little standing water for the blood suckers. Eirich said recent trap counts showed an average of around 12 mosquitoes per trap. The historical average would see 73 mosquitoes per trap.
Even so, he said 4,000 kilograms of product has been put out, or the equivalent of five mid-sized cars over an area equal to about 1,000 CFL sized football fields. Most years 20,000 kg of product is put out, or the same as about 12 mid-sized cars over 2,500 football fields.