‘It’s important to get rid of them’: Winnipeg bug expert on spike in summer pests

A cankerworm. Government of Canada

It’s a Winnipeg certainty — with summer weather comes a whole host of annoying little critters. A local bug expert says some pests need to be dealt with, while others are actually beneficial.

Entomologist Taz Stuart told Global News that there has been an increase in cankerworms, ants and wasps this year.

He said cankerworms are one of the main offenders right now, their only real purpose is food for the birds but they can do some real damage to trees so it is important to manage them.

Read more: ‘Get ’em off quick and you shouldn’t get sick’: entomologist on Manitoba ticks

“Lots of people don’t realize when the shotgun hole damage on the leaves is present. You should be getting your trees sprayed when [the worms] are a lot younger and smaller — it’s more effective when you are using a biological product or if you’re using a chemical contact product.”
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Stuart added that there are certain “hot spots” for cankerworms in neighborhoods, including Transcona and North Kildonan.

People can find information about cankerworms and how to manage them properly on the insect control section on the City of Winnipeg website.

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People may have also noticed the increase in wasps this year but you may not need to fear them quite as much right now, Stuart says.

“They’re out there, just they’re not very aggressive as in the fall when the flowers and their natural food sources are gone so it’s important to get rid of them sooner than later,” said Stuart.

Read more: Ticks more than just annoying: bloodsuckers can spread disease, says Winnipeg bug expert

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The last bug that seems to have increased in quantity is ants.

Ants are very unsightly and people tend to want them gone but Stuart says that the anthills might actually be benefiting your lawn.

“They are actually doing a benefit to your lawn by aeration — your lawn is stronger by having the ants expand.”

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