Below is an email we received from Councillor Karen Ras, regarding the cankerworm situation in Mississauga:
I’m getting many calls and emails about cankerworms, particularly in the Lorne Park area. This is not isolated to Ward 2. Trees are also being greatly affected in Wards 6 and 8.
The population of cankerworms (or inch worms) is much higher this year due the warmer winter. Here are some things you should know:
* The cankerworm feeding season is much shorter than the gypsy moth, with the life cycle of the worm being 7-10 days. At this point, we are more than halfway through the feeding season.
* Forestry is starting tomorrow, June 1st, with spraying of city owned trees in the Whiteoaks area, where there is both a high infestation of cankerworms and gypsy moth, with a second application 7-10 days later. The benefit to the timing of the treatment is that the worms will be sprayed while they are feeding, therefore having an impact on the population. The spraying will occur in the early morning hours. While the spray is biological and safe, it is recommended that you stay indoors with windows closed. It will take a few days for caterpillars to ingest and die.
* Trees that have been impacted by the feeding of the cankerworms should leaf out again this summer.
* Trees can withstand 3 or more years of defoliation, so this infestation should not have an impact on the overall health of trees in the area.
Thanks to the wet, cool spring, it is anticipated that the gypsy moth population will be low to moderate this year.
That being said, between pests and drought, our tree canopy has been under great stress over the last few years.
This morning at our General Committee Meeting, I asked staff to seriously consider aerial spraying for Spring 2018. For many people, they are losing too many trees or remaining trees are becoming too costly to manage. Other municipalities, including Toronto, have taken steps to spray. It has been 10 years since the City of Mississauga did aerial spraying. For the sake of the long term health of our tree canopy and local air quality, it’s time to take a look at that option again.
Would you please share this information with your members. Please contact myself or Forestry if you have any questions or concerns.
Councillor, Ward 2
300 City Centre Drive
Mississauga, ON L5B 3C1