City of Colorado Springs to start spraying Cheyenne Cañon for budworm

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The city of Colorado Springs is taking steps to make sure a native bug doesn’t cause damage to trees in Cheyenne Cañon.

The Western Spruce Budworm has been around for the last 15 years and if it isn’t treated could cause a big problem.

“Right now he’s probably a 64th of an inch long, when he becomes a full adult right before he pupates into a flying moth, he’ll get about an inch and a quarter long,” said Dennis Will, staff forester with the City of Colorado Springs.

It’s a small bug that’s causing some big problems for the City of Colorado Springs.

“It is a very chronic defoliating moth that occurs throughout the west,” said Will.

The Western Spruce Budworm is native to the area and has been around for the past decade.

The city of Colorado Springs says a recent survey of all these trees in North Cheyenne Cañon found that 78 percent of them are infected with that budworm and that they need to be treated sooner rather than later.

“We believe the populations are rising so we want to be able to knock the populations down before they can get into a worse stage,” said Will.

Will says the budworm can be devastating to trees.

They feed on White Fir and Douglas Fir trees, eating up all the needles.

“The damage is caused by the larval stage, the immature stage, in the adult stage the moths don’t feed,” said Will.

To help control the worms, the city will soon start treating nearly 3,000 acres.

Will says if the defoliation continues over time it could create problems with the city’s drinking water.

“A large percentage of the city’s drinking water comes from the Cheyenne Cañons,” said Will.

The city will hold public meetings to let people who live in the affected areas know what’s going on.

That meeting will take place May 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Ivywild School on South Cascade.

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