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Posted on: May 30, 2017

Forest Tent Caterpillars

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Lloydminster, AB/SK – Forest tent caterpillars, cankerworms, and leafrollers are once again present in the Lloydminster area. Trees may experience significant defoliation but, in most cases, the trees will recover and produce new foliage.

  • Forest tent caterpillars feed on a large variety of trees, including ash, poplar, and chokecherry. In some cases, insects can completely defoliate a tree, but trees will typically recover. After four consecutive years of heavy defoliation, trees can decline. Typically, outbreaks last three to seven years.
  • Cankerworms, also known as loopers and inchworms, are found primarily on the leaves of American elm and Manitoba maple trees. The fall and spring cankerworm species often feed together during June and July. They can be found hanging from silken threads underneath infested trees and can be a nuisance.
  • Leafrollers feed while concealed within leaves that are rolled or tied together with silk webbing. Ash trees are their preference, but they also attack other tree species. The larvae will feed in mid to late June, but the leaves will remain rolled throughout the summer.

Tree banding can be used to control cankerworms; however, it is not effective against leafrollers and forest tent caterpillars. The best time to place bands on trees is from September to May to help prevent the wingless adult female cankerworm moths from climbing host trees to lay their eggs. It is important to remove the bands at the beginning of June because the bands can collect moisture and cause the trunk to rot. Unlike the adult female cankerworm, the female leafrollers and forest tent caterpillars have wings and will fly from tree to tree to lay their eggs.

The City does not complete a mass control for cankerworms, forest tent caterpillars, or leafrollers as they typically do not impact the long-term health of the trees. The City will concentrate on key ornamental areas within the City to minimize the pests and defoliation for this season.

For more information visit


Media Contacts:

Katlin Ducherer
Coordinator, Media and Digital Services
P: 780-875-6184 Ext. 2328

Leo Pare
General Manager, Communications & Marketing
P: 780-875-6184 Ext. 2711

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