Gypsy Moth

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The Gypsy Moth is a non-native insect that has been established in Ontario since 1969. Originally from Europe, the gypsy moth is not native to Canada, but has been found here for over 100 years. They attack over 300 different native and ornamental trees and shrubs.


The life cycle of the gypsy moth has 4 distinct stages: egg, larva or caterpillar, pupa, and adult. The caterpillars grow to be more than six-centimetres long and are easily identified by their bristles and a double row of blue and red dots down their backs. A single caterpillar can devour a square metre of foliage before it pupates and hatches into a small greyish-brown moth later in the summer.




The gypsy moth larvae (caterpillar) feed on the leaves of many deciduous tree species including oak, poplar and white birch. The caterpillars can consume a significant amount of foliage, leaving tree canopies sparse. The insect can also drop a considerable quantity of frass (caterpillar droppings). This can be a nuisance to forest users and to residential property owners that have treed properties.



Severe feeding and subsequent defoliation does stress trees, however most healthy trees will not be impacted by the insect unless severely defoliated over several consecutive years. Infestations are cyclical with outbreaks generally occurring every 7-10 years. The most recent outbreak in 2008 was much less severe than previous outbreaks recorded in 1985, 1991 and 2002.



The City of Quinte West is asking for the public's help in identifying areas where there are infestations. Residents are encouraged to use the map (found below) to pinpoint the exact location.


The Gypsy Moth is a non-native insect that has been established in Ontario since 1969. Originally from Europe, the gypsy moth is not native to Canada, but has been found here for over 100 years. They attack over 300 different native and ornamental trees and shrubs.


The life cycle of the gypsy moth has 4 distinct stages: egg, larva or caterpillar, pupa, and adult. The caterpillars grow to be more than six-centimetres long and are easily identified by their bristles and a double row of blue and red dots down their backs. A single caterpillar can devour a square metre of foliage before it pupates and hatches into a small greyish-brown moth later in the summer.




The gypsy moth larvae (caterpillar) feed on the leaves of many deciduous tree species including oak, poplar and white birch. The caterpillars can consume a significant amount of foliage, leaving tree canopies sparse. The insect can also drop a considerable quantity of frass (caterpillar droppings). This can be a nuisance to forest users and to residential property owners that have treed properties.



Severe feeding and subsequent defoliation does stress trees, however most healthy trees will not be impacted by the insect unless severely defoliated over several consecutive years. Infestations are cyclical with outbreaks generally occurring every 7-10 years. The most recent outbreak in 2008 was much less severe than previous outbreaks recorded in 1985, 1991 and 2002.



The City of Quinte West is asking for the public's help in identifying areas where there are infestations. Residents are encouraged to use the map (found below) to pinpoint the exact location.


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Gypsy Moth Infestations

11 months