Cankerworms in Pelham? Town says no, readers say “help”

Reader-supplied image of what local residents assert are cankerworms. SUPPLIED PHOTO


Cities across Canada have been reporting an increase in insect infestations this year. Throughout southern Ontario this spring, cankerworms seem to be doing the most damage.

Infestations of cankerworms have gotten so bad in Mississauga that one Councillor has even called for the aerial spraying of infested trees to prevent the trees and parks from being destroyed.

Cankerworms – also known as inch worms – occur every 10 to 15 years an exist for about two to three years at a time.

Upon hatching in the spring, they feed for approximately six weeks before they burrow underground until they emerge as moths in mid to late autumn.

At this stage in their lifecycle, they lay their eggs in the tree tops and the cycle continues. Healthy trees can survive a cankerworm infestation, however experts say that if an infestation persists for several years it can damage or kill the tree.

After readers contacted the Voice to express concerns that trees in their neighbourhood were being devoured by the pest, we reached out to Town Hall for comment. Public Relations and Marketing Specialist, Marc MacDonald, asserted that so far Pelham has seen two instances of gypsy moths, however no cankerworms.

“At this point,” he said, “there hasn’t been an identifiable need to address this issue on a large scale as it appears to be isolated.”

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The Voice of Pelham
Pelham's independent news source from the heart of Niagara.