The City of Quinte West is asking for residents’ help to combat the infestation of LDD moths (formerly known as gypsy moths). This invasive species has been spotted in our area, and nearly four out of five rural properties are at risk. The time to act is now to protect your hardwood trees.
“We’re asking all rural residents with trees on their property to be on the lookout for LDD moths and caterpillars and to take action if they see them,” says Chris Angelo, Director of Public Works and Environmental Services.
In 2021, the LDD moth defoliated 18,000 square kilometres of Ontario forest – an area three times the size of the Greater Toronto Area. Some of the heaviest moth concentrations were found in eastern Ontario.
The moths initially look like a fuzzy, purple caterpillar up to 90 millimetres in length. This invasive species, formerly called the gypsy moth, has no natural predators, and each larva may consume up to one square meter of foliage by the time it finishes feeding. The caterpillars additionally create a significant mess, and their hairs may cause allergic reactions among some residents.
To help combat the spread of the LDD moth, the City of Quinte West will spray severely affected municipally-owned properties with a natural Btk pesticide. Additionally, the City is reaching out to rural residents and other relevant groups to share information about the LDD moth and actions that they can all take to save the trees.
Those concerned about the LDD moth in our area should visit quintewest.ca/lddmoths for more information and resources to help manage infestations on private property.