To protect the tree canopy from LDD (Lymantria dispar dispar) moth damage, the City will implement its aerial spray program between late May and mid-June in neighbourhoods across Toronto.
The LDD moth, formerly referred to as European Gypsy Moth, is an invasive, defoliating insect that feeds on a variety of tree species. Eradication of the LDD moth is not possible since it is well established throughout North America. The City uses many interventions to manage LDD moths, including tree injections, egg mass removal and ground spraying.
Aerial sprays are only used when LDD moth populations rise to levels that could have devastating effects on Toronto’s tree canopy. During the past few seasons, LDD moth populations have been on the rise and have moved into new areas.
The spray will treat around 800 hectares of private and public land forecasted to have high LDD moth populations in 2022 in the following Wards: Parkdale-High Park, York Centre, Don Valley West, Don Valley East, Don Valley North, Willowdale, Beaches-East York, Scarborough Southwest, Scarborough Centre, Scarborough-Agincourt, Scarborough North, Scarborough-Guildwood and Scarborough-Rouge Park. Residents can check the interactive map to find out if their address or neighbourhood is in a spray zone.
Spraying is weather-dependent and can only be initiated in specific weather conditions. As a result, specific spray dates will be confirmed 48 hours in advance and may be cancelled if conditions change.
No special precautions are required for residents in the spray zones, however, those wishing to avoid exposure can remain indoors during and immediately after the spraying. The insecticides that will be applied are not toxic to birds, humans, other mammals, adult moths, butterflies, bees and other insects and are approved by Health Canada for urban aerial use.
More information about the City’s 2022 Aerial Spray Program, including an interactive map and sign-up for e-updates to receive spray notifications is available on the City’s LDD moth webpage.
“The LDD moth aerial spray program will help reduce the tremendous damage these invasive insects are causing to our trees. Toronto’s trees provide a wide range of environmental benefits for people and wildlife in the city and must be protected. Municipalities in Ontario and throughout North America are engaged in similar spray initiatives, which have proven to be both safe and effective.”
– Mayor John Tory
“These aerial spray programs are not toxic to humans, mammals, birds and other wildlife such as bees and butterflies. Our trees need help to defend themselves from this infestation. Unless treated with an aerial spray in 2022, it is likely that various tree species will experience severe defoliation.”
– Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of Infrastructure and Environment Committee
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