‘We’re getting hammered’: Gypsy moth outbreak devastating Eastern Ontario forests


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A female gypsy moth in July laying an egg mass. The hairs on the eggs have been removed by the female from her body. Joe Shorthouse
A female gypsy moth in July laying an egg mass. The egg masses can be spotted and destroyed to limit next spring’s outbreak. Joe Shorthouse/Postmedia

“You can scrape those off the tree and destroy them. You can use soapy water or you can just crush them,” McCready said.

“If people want to take matters into their own hands, that’s something you can do, especially if you’re a cottage owner. But it’s very difficult to do if you have a woodlot.”

The gypsy moth infestation is just the latest indignity to the area’s forests, which have been also chewed up by the Emerald Ash Borer beetle and are under stress from this year’s drought.

And Eastern Ontario Model Forest’s experts are always on the lookout for the next blight.

“Our regional forest health network is watching at what’s coming at us from across the border in the States,” McCready said. “We’re looking at oak wilt. We’re looking at hemlock woolly adelgid. The list goes on … But right now, it’s the gypsy moth.”

bcrawford@postmedia.com

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