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Your Guide to Gypsy Moths in Toronto: The Most Common Areas for Gypsy Moths

 In Blog, Pest Control

Toronto houses and a tree

Spring is a wonderful time where the ice thaws and the warmer air carries with it fresh scents as nature regenerates. But let’s not over-romanticize things: it’s also a time for invasive species to breed.

In Toronto and the surrounding GTA, one of the most invasive species to take root lately is the gypsy moth. Gypsy moths, also known as Lymantria dispar dispar or the spongy moth, are classified as a pest because of the way they consume the leaves of over 500 trees, shrubs, and plants. They also eat hardwood.

Gypsy moths were introduced into Massachusetts accidentally in 1869 by a French naturalist who tried to create a local silk industry by crossing the European Gypsy Moth with North American silkworms. Moths and butterflies belong to the same order, Lepidoptera, but these are not those kinds of moths.

Let’s take a look at the regions in the GTA where gypsy moths flourish to learn more about these invasive and how to control them.

Gypsy Moths in Aurora

The gypsy moth was first introduced to the US in the late 1880s but was detected in Ontario in 1969. In 2015, Aurora added the gypsy moth to its list of invasive species, meaning they’re formally regulated under the Ontario Invasive Species Act.

Gypsy moths are unlikely to be eradicated. You can recognize these caterpillars in a few ways. They grow up to six centimetres in length. They’re dark and hairy, with five pairs of blue dots and six pairs of red dots on the back.

Gypsy moths travel by attaching themselves to objects. They lay eggs in the bark of trees during winter, and these eggs hatch in the spring, with larvae ascending up the trees to eat the foliage. If you don’t identify the moths by sight, you will probably notice the damage they do to trees in your neighbourhood.

By early July, feeding is over, and they appear in late July or August. At the larvae stage, one single moth caterpillar usually eats about one square metre of leaves. Hire us for pest control in Aurora if you notice the gypsy moth on your property.

Gypsy Moths in Barrie

The city of Barrie has also tackled its gypsy moth problem head-on. The 2022 budget contains a provision to pay for treating gypsy moths.

Barrie has a targeted area of more than 35 hectares which is considered to have a high density of gypsy moths. Barrie officials know what everybody who has gypsy moths on their property knows all too well: these pests can devastate local trees to the point where they threaten the balance of ecosystems.

We offer pest control in Barrie that will eliminate gypsy moths on your property effectively but without causing any threat whatsoever to pets or the environment. Our treatments are harsh with what you want to be eliminated and sensitive where necessary and always comply with Health Canada.

Bradford Clamps Down on Gypsy Moths

Like other regions, Bradford has clamped down on gypsy moths, but it didn’t do so right away. Bradford has had gypsy moths for the last ten years but has only responded with more extreme measures in the last two years after considerable population growth among the invasive species.

The city’s Horticulture and Forestry staff will conduct a mass egg scraping from some parks and streets in March and April before the larvae hatch. Removing these eggs will reduce the number of larvae that hatch and therefore reduce the damage done to trees.

Note, city staff only work to protect trees in public places, as anything beyond that is outside of their mandate. If you need pest control in Bradford to eradicate gypsy moths from your property before they cause damage to your trees, don’t hesitate to call us.

Greenleaf Pest Control is a local business that offers comprehensive, friendly service tailored for your needs. We can do a one-time treatment if there’s already an infestation or a home protection plan that pre-emptively prevents an infestation from arising in the first place.

Moths in Newmarket

Gypsy moths may latch onto objects and slither around slowly, but they manage to get around quite a bit. Newmarket is no exception.

The town of Newmarket is actively combatting gypsy moths for the same reason other regions are and taking many of the same measures. They have also completed its gypsy moth egg masses with backpack vacuums in areas susceptible to outbreaks.

If you see a tree with a white dot on it in Newmarket, it’s probably marked for egg mass removal. However, the city won’t put any dots on trees on your property. For that, you’ll need to call for pest control in Newmarket to get customized protection.

Greenleaf Pest Control can visit your home and create a tailored protection plan based on your unique needs. No two homes are the same, and you may need a custom solution depending on where you live. We will visit your premises and give tactical advice based on what our experts see.

Gypsy moths can trigger allergies and irritate people. They’re not just damaging to trees, but they can represent a health risk. Look for them under branches, in and around outdoor furniture, fences, tree trunks, swing sets, and in many other places.

Suburban street, beautiful sunshine and a dog in the road

Our experts know how to spot them, identify their breeding grounds, and eliminate them for good. Whether you live in downtown Toronto or in Aurora, Newmarket, Barrie, King City, Bradford, Stouffville, or Caledon, call Greenleaf Pest Control to steer clear of gypsy moths before they harm your home.

Gypsy moths have been around for years, but they’re a larger problem than ever because they’re growing in number and doing more damage. Keep them and any other intrusive pest away from your home by contacting us now. Don’t wait too long, or the moths could hatch from the eggs and wreak havoc on your home.

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