What Is The Fall Cankerworm?

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What Is The Fall Cankerworm?

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Fall Cankerworms are extremely destructive caterpillars that hatch from eggs in early spring, about the time tree leaves are unfolding. Cankerworms feed on leaves for three to four weeks, then either crawl or drop to the ground on silken threads and pupate in the soil. Fall cankerworms emerge as adult moths in late fall usually in early December after a hard freeze. The male cankerworms have wings and the females are wingless. The females crawl up tree trunks onto branches, are mated by winged males, and then lay single-layered masses of flower-pot shaped eggs on limbs and trunks. Tree banding efforts try to catch the wingless females as they crawl up the trees by wrapping a tar paper band covered with a layer of sticky tanglefoot around the trunks of likely cankerworm targets. Elm, apple, oak and many other fruit and shade trees are normally attacked by cankerworms, although they have been known to eat about anything with leaves during a heavy outbreak. Entire leaves are eaten, leavin

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