City of Barrie tackles moth infestation

The City of Barrie plans to tackle the LDD moth infestation before it gets out of hand this season with suction devices that remove the egg masses before they hatch.

"The hatch is going to start over the next two weeks, and by the end of May, the hatch will be pretty much 90 per cent," said Kevin Rankin, Barrie parks and forestry operations manager.

LDD moths feed on tree leaves, destroying the tree's growth and preventing it from producing new leaves.

The infestation was significant last spring and summer, but Rankin said it might not be as severe this season.

"Between last year's decline due to the natural MPV virus and fungus that kills off the caterpillars, there will be certainly a lot less this year."

Simcoe County forester Graeme Davis agrees.

"Most parts of the county that had significant infestations the last two years will see a market decline."

Experts believe this year could be the end of another cycle based on data that indicates the infestations have a seven to 10-year pattern.

"The good news is we fully expect to be over the worst of the infestation," Davis added.

In the meantime, the city recommends scrapping off any egg masses on trees on your property into a soapy bucket of water.