Charlotte has a history of severe infestations of cankerworms. Homeowners can help control the population by banding their trees. Banding trees can prevent the cankerworm population from increasing to an unmanageable level.
Each November the City places special traps at scattered locations to monitor the Fall Cankerworm population. They also monitor the amount of defoliation in the spring to see if it affecting the health of our tree canopy.
NOTICE: The most common product used to trap cankerworms, Tanglefoot, is not being manufactured this year. Stores listed below have limited supplies. It is still important to band your trees. The City is recommending the Bug Barrier Product as an alternative to Tanglefoot.
See retailers and resources
What is the fall cankerworm?
The fall cankerworm (Alsophila pometraria) is an insect native to North America. It is typically found from Georgia to Nova Scotia and west to Texas. It has a four stage life cycle: egg, pupa, larva (caterpillar) and adult.
How does the fall cankerworm affect trees?
After mating in December, the female moths crawl up trees to lay their eggs on twigs and mall branches. As the trees leaf out in the spring, the eggs hatch leaving small green caterpillars to feed on the leaves. In most cases, the cankerworm will not kill the trees; however repeated defoliation can weaken trees and make them more susceptible to other stresses, such as age, drought, other insects and disease.