Tree bands, coated with a sticky non-toxic substance known as Tanglefoot™, trap the female cankerworm as she marches up the tree. Bands are applied before the first frost in the fall and removed in May to allow the bark to dry out over the summer.
Cankerworms feast on elm, ash, maple, linden, oak, fruit, and ornamental trees. They can leave a tree completely stripped of leaves. If needed, trees can produce a second set of leaves mid-summer. However, this weakens the tree and makes them more susceptible to insect attacks and diseases (i.e. Dutch Elm Disease). Repeated defoliation year after year can lead to limb dieback and can ultimately kill a tree.