Tammi Hanowski’s yard is carpeted in forest tent caterpillars.
The insects are everywhere on the acreage just south of Saskatoon, in the RM of Dundurn, so much so they can be shovelled by the thousands.
“There’s like hundreds of thousands of them around everywhere on my property,” Hanowski said Wednesday.
She’s not sure why their numbers are so high on the property, but suspects the trees in the yard may be a factor.
The insects are densely piled in spots across her lawn, on her walkways and on her house. She believes the caterpillars moved closer to the house after eating through the foliage of the trees.
“As of a few days ago, there was nothing and then they all just kind of showed up,” she said.
The city of Saskatoon is in the midst of an outbreak of tent caterpillars, Saskatoon’s pest management supervisor Jeff Boone said earlier this month.
Outbreaks of the caterpillars typically last between three to seven years, with the insects returning in high numbers each summer of an outbreak.
This is the fourth year for the outbreak in Saskatoon, Boone said.
The caterpillars can remove the leaves from trees, but trees normally recover, according to the city. The city does not control the insects.
Hanowski is not too bothered by the caterpillars, but knows cleaning up the insects will be difficult.
“It only bothers me because it’s frustrating not being able to open the pool, not being able to sit outside,” she said. The clean up after is going to be horrendous… but I’m not squeamish with them or anything, so I can walk through them no problem.”
She plans to wait until they all die before scooping them up.