Prince William County

How to Email Your Supervisors About Saving the Caterpillars

Each resident has two supervisors, the at-large and the district supervisor.

First, look up your District Supervisor.  

Second, edit the SAMPLE MESSAGE below so it’s in your own words and copy it.  Be sure to fill in the blanks! 

Then send your email to your At-Large Supervisor (Chairman Stewart) and your District Supervisor.  If you’d like, please cc: 

District Name Email address
At-Large Chairman Stewart
Gainesville Supervisor Candland
Brentsville Vice Chair Lawson
Coles Supervisor Nohe
Neabsco Supervisor Jenkins
Occoquan Supervisor Anderson
Potomac Supervisor Caddigan
Woodbridge Supervisor Principi

Sample Message

Subject: Save the Caterpillars! 

Dear Chairman Stewart and Supervisor ___________:

As a resident of your District, I am writing to ask you to please immediately end the fall cankerworm insecticide-spraying program, and to re-direct those funds to benefit forest health.

The targeted fall cankerworm is a native moth that has evolved over the millennia along with our trees and is an important part of our urban forest ecosystems. This caterpillar is also known as the "inchworm."

The inchworm is an ideal food source for birds as it lacks spines and chemical defenses, and appears just as birds are migrating through our area and beginning their breeding season.

The pesticide that is applied is deadly not only to the target native inchworm, but to ALL exposed butterflies and moths that are in their caterpillar stage of life. One insect likely killed by the pesticide spraying is the spectacular Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Virginia’s state insect. The Audubon Society of Northern Virginia has documented more than 60 species of springtime butterflies near where spraying occurs and that may be killed by the spraying.

Even common birds are declining in alarming numbers, and more than 1/3 of North American birds may be at risk of extinction.* I'm concerned about the harmful effects on our birds of insecticide spraying that kills caterpillars, an important food source for these birds and other wildlife.

The County does not attempt to measure or understand the benefits to the ecosystem of the fall cankerworm and the other impacted butterflies and moths, nor does the County attempt to measure or understand the extent of the harm caused by the insecticide spraying to our urban forest ecosystems, which include butterflies and birds.

For these reasons, I am asking that this harmful program be ended as soon as possible and that funds be re-directed to more productively benefit the health of our urban forest ecosystems.

*See and

Sincerely yours,