You might have noticed a decline in the number of tent caterpillars around Bonnyville lately, but expect one last wave in July before they’re gone.
Director of Agriculture and Waste Services Matt Janz told MD Council earlier today that the caterpillars are now starting to form into their cocoons. In areas where they were really bad they’ve pretty much eaten up the supply of leaves and are starting to burn out.
With the fuzzy hordes now gone though, that can only lead to one thing. Sometime in July, instead of seeing caterpillars covering entire trees, Bonnyvillers will get to the experience the joy of having swarms of moths flying all over the region.
However their numbers might be smaller than the caterpillars. Janz says the big black flies around town are a good sign in this case. They carry parasites on them that can kill off large numbers of caterpillars before they get to the moth stage.
This infestation should be the last in a three-year cycle. Janz says his department is hoping this is the worst year for quite some time.