Beginning in August of 2019, FoTTSA has been sharing scientific information with residents about how to identify and take action against Gypsy moths. FoTTSA wrote to Council about Gypsy moths in July 2020, surveyed residents in September, made a deputation in October on behalf of the 93% of respondents who supported spraying with Btk by Tiny, and then wrote again in December 2020. FoTTSA is disappointed that on February 3rd, 2021 the Council of Tiny Township voted 3-2 in favour of a municipal overspray policy directed at private property owners as they attempt to save mature trees at their own expense from the 4th year of infestation by gypsy moths, a non-native invasive species. Btk is a bacteria found in soil which has been approved for use by organic farmers and safely used by municipalities around North America for decades to protect mature trees from death by repeated defoliation. It does not enter the food chain, has no effect on bees and when applied at the correct time poses no threat to other moths or butterflies, including the Monarch butterfly.
City of Toronto Gypsy Moth page – here
Simcoe County Gypsy Moth webpage
Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program – gypsy moths.
Severn Sound Environmental Association Fact Sheet
Tiny is experiencing an infestation of gypsy moths which are an invasive insect. Despite the successful use of insect predators, as well as fungal and viral controls, gypsy moth populations do occasionally reach outbreak levels.
Gypsy Moth caterpillars are dark and hairy, with five pairs of blue dots and six pairs of red dots on the back. They feed on a wide range of coniferous as well as deciduous trees, but show a preference for oak trees. Caterpillars begin by chewing small holes, but as they mature can completely strip a tree of its leaves depending on their age and population. High levels of gypsy moth caterpillars can cause trees to experience severe loss of leaves, which could cause them to enter a state of decline and make them more susceptible to further harm from other insects, diseases, and weather fluctuations.
What can you do?
September to beginning of May: Scrape gypsy moth egg masses off of trees. Soak them in soapy water for a minimum of 48 hours to destroy them.
May to Mid-August: Burlapping: Install burlap wraps around tree trunks and then collect and destroy the caterpillars, pupae, adults, and egg masses. Once moths have hatched, pheromone traps are an effective way of reducing the adult male population. Check local hardware stores for supplies of traps and pheromones.
End of June-Mid-August: Collect, crush or otherwise destroy pupae/cocoons when you see them.
Beginning of May- Mid June: Consider chemical treatments such as Btk-based products or TreeAzin; however, they are extremely time sensitive for them to be effective at controlling gypsy moth. Btk is normally applied through aerial spraying.
Tiny Council and Gypsy Moths
Midland Today article January 25th, 2021 Tiny allowing overspray on municipal properties for gypsy moth control
Midland Today article December 2020: Gypsy moth still aflutter in the minds of Tiny residents
Reprint in the Toronto Star January 2021: Gypsy moth still aflutter in the minds of Tiny residents
Midland Today article November 2020: Tiny shoreline group demands township take action against invasive bugs
FoTTSA Flash & Gypsy Moths