ELENA RARDON PHOTO If you spot caterpillars in webbing, they might be fall webworms, rather than armyworms.

Second wave of armyworms arrive in Alberni Valley

Farmers around Port Alberni cautioned to watch for moths

A second wave of armyworms has hit the Alberni Valley, as new damage has been reported by Valley farmers.

A 14-acre field in the Beaufort area was decimated by a severe infestation of the armyworms at the end of August, and smaller caterpillars have now been spotted in another Alberni Valley field, according to the ACRD. What’s on your Fork? Facebook page.

READ: Armyworm invades Alberni Valley Farms

READ: Armyworm infestation monitored with traps in valley

ACRD agricultural support worker Heather Shobe said this is the second generation of armyworms in the Valley, after the first generation of moths laid their eggs and hatched into caterpillars.

“The damage is different,” she said. “But they are back now, eating what is left.”

Shobe added that armyworms have been spotted all over the island, as well as on the mainland, causing damage to corn crops there. “It’s not just a small island community problem,” she emphasized.

Ministry entomologist Tracy Hueppelsheuser released a report recommending that farmers scout for armyworm larvae in the lush regrowth of grass fields. Check in areas near or adjacent to earlier armyworm-damaged fields, as moths will be looking for growing grass to lay new eggs. This report can be found on the ACRD website.

The ACRD has finished pheromone trapping for the fall, but will be setting up trapping for the spring so they will be able to gain control over the first generation of armyworms before they strike.

Shobe warned that if you spot caterpillars in webbing around this time of year, you may be seeing a fall webworm, rather than an armyworm.

“They’re not really a destructive caterpillar,” she said. “Tent caterpillars are more cyclical and can do extensive damage, but we’re not having an issue with those.”

The ACRD had a display at the Fall Fair last weekend, showing the public what armyworm looks like, as well as an example of a pheromone trap.


Just Posted

Alberni Valley Regional Airport closed due to flooding

Airport estimated to reopen in two to three days

Josephine Street Bridge closure extended

Restoration has been delayed due to poor weather

Vehicle rolls over at bottom of hump, driver not found

Port Alberni RCMP are still investigating

LNG project given a traditional Huu-ay-aht name

Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Steelhead LNG have announced new name for co-managed project

Port Alberni tackles “big city” problems

City’s compliance staff unable to take on emerging challenges

Nanaimo judge won’t let arsonist have a cigarette lighter

Martin Arthur Taylor previously pleaded guilty to February 2016 arson incident in Nanaimo

Nanaimo suspect with ‘shopping list’ breaks into two bait cars in one day

Woman busted after incidents in early-morning hours Wednesday, Nov. 22

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Dead rats on doorstep greets Summerland mayor

Two rodents have been delivered to Peter Waterman’s doorstep

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Propane explosion destroys fifth wheel in Nanaimo

No one hurt but trailer destroyed when propane leak ignites in Harewood

Black Friday fervour wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

Some businesses are choosing to opt out, while some shoppers are turning to buying online

Most Read