No gypsy moth spraying this year but Burlington offers alternative control method


Published June 6, 2022 at 1:05 pm

Although the local gypsy moth issue isn’t bad enough for spraying this year, the City of Burlington still wants to provide residents with a way to help combat the invasive pest.

Residents and tree enthusiasts are welcome to attend a free “burlap banding” demonstration that will be held at three parks in Burlington on June 11.

A forestry expert will show participants the materials needed and the steps to create the simple, yet effective method of keeping trees free from the moths.

Registration is not required. Demonstrations will happen rain or shine:

  • First session: Kilbride Park, 2175 Blessington St., 8:30 a.m.
  • Second session: LaSalle Park. 50 North Shore Blvd., 10:30 a.m.
  • Third session: Sherwood Forest Park, east side. Enter from Fothergill Blvd, off Burloak Dr., 12:30 p.m.

“Our pest management program looks at multiple factors to decide if we need to do an aerial spraying with a natural pesticide,” said Steve Robinson, manager of Forestry.

“We look at how many egg clusters are on the trees in the fall, whether the wooded area is healthy enough to handle a normal cycle of caterpillars and if the area was sprayed the year before.”

Last year, the department found the number of egg masses on trees were reduced from previous surveys and within limits that do not warrant an aerial spray application.

The City of Burlington did aerial spraying in 2019 and 2021 which has been very successful in reducing this infestation and for 2022 will be focusing on area specific methods to address these pests.

Most trees can survive an infestation of spongy moth caterpillars and will be able to regrow new leaves without having permanent damage done.

Now often referred to as Spongy moth, the Gypsy moth is a non-native invasive pest that was introduced in the late 19th century. It was first discovered in Ontario in the 1960s and has been a major defoliator of deciduous and coniferous trees across Southern Ontario.

Gypsy moth populations tend to be cyclical, with peaks every 8-12 years, followed by dramatic population decline of the pest.

For more information about the spongy moth, visit the City website.

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