Mississauga reminds residents how to battle destructive gypsy moths

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Published August 16, 2022 at 1:01 pm

The best time to get rid of destructive LDD ( Lymantria dispar dispar) moths, commonly known as gypsy moths, is quickly approaching.

Gypsy moths are an invasive species and their population has exploded in recent years.

“They have been around for decades with populations significantly growing over the last number of years leading to record-breaking numbers in Mississauga and across Ontario,” said Stefan Szczepanski, acting director of Parks, Forestry and Environment earlier this year.

They can destroy trees at an alarming rate and have been a serious threat to oak trees and other hardwood species.

This year, Mississauga forestry staff received $3 million in the city’s 2022 budget to help destroy the pest. The city conducted insecticide aerial spraying this summer.

But residents can do their part too. Starting in mid-August through the end of April, residents can remove egg masses on the trees. The moths typically lay eggs in mid-August but when the leaves are gone, it may be easier to see the nests.

The egg masses are covered with tan coloured hairs from the female’s abdomen but eventually become sun bleached white.

Removing the egg masses is easy — as seen in a video the City of Mississauga released.

Simply spray the nest with soapy water, use a paint scraper to remove the mass, place in a container filled with soapy water and soak for a few days before discarding.

As each egg mass can produce 1,000 caterpillars, each one people remove makes a huge difference.

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