2022 Note: It has been decided by the Entomology Society of Canada that the new common name for LDD/Gypsy moth is now Spongy Moth. Visit their website for more information. In future, MLF will refer to this moth as the Spongy Moth.
This year has seen a rise in the number of Spongy Moths (Lymantria dispar dispar / LDD / European Gypsy Moths) and caterpillars, which affect native maple trees as well as other species. In areas with severe outbreaks, “trees and shrubs are completely defoliated over large areas; despite the trees’ ability to produce a new crop of leaves over the summer, the damage causes significant growth loss” (https://www.ontario.ca/page/lymantria-dispar-dispar-ldd-moth)
One effective way to reduce the spread of this invasive pest is to collect and destroy their egg masses before they hatch.
The Invasive Species Centre and Eastern Ontario Model Forest are currently running a contest to encourage residents to remove Spongy moth egg masses from their trees. They hope to limit the spread of the destructive caterpillars and moths by working together to collect 500 or more egg masses across Ontario. There are even prizes being offered as incentive to collect as many as possible!
NOTE: Egg Masses can be removed any time from August through the fall and winter to mid-April. Scraping in the Fall after the leaves have fallen may make it easier to see the egg masses.
Find out more and enter the contest here: www.invasivespeciescentre.ca/take-action/edrr-network/european-gypsy-moth-egg-scraping-contest/
Learn more about the Spongy Moth and how to manage this pest by watching this webinar: