This page has useful information about Spongy (Gypsy) Moths, which became an issue in 2020 and then defoliated many of the trees around Big Cedar Lake in 2021. Diane Trauzzi has taken on the role of coordinator for mobilizing property owners to sign up for an Aerial Spray in 2022. Links to the information she has gathered and disseminated will be provided on this page.
Note that the name “Gypsy Moth” has been identified as being potentially offensive as it uses a derogatory term for the Romani people. Thus, the American Entomological Society of America is reviewing some suggested names to replace the name “Gypsy Moth” with. They have not yet decided on what the new name will be, but in the meantime many references are being changed from Gypsy Moth to LDD Moth. LDD comes from the acronym of the European Gypsy Moth’s scientific name of Lymantria dispar dispar. (The European Gypsy Moth, which is the one affecting us, is a subspecies of the species Lymantria Dispar called Lymantria Dispar Dispar). Until the Moth has been formally renamed, these reference pages will continue to refer to this pest as Gypsy Moth as that is the name everyone is familiar with.
Presentation about Gypsy Moths from 2021 AGM
The presentation done at the 2021 AGM regarding Gypsy Moths (including slides and speaker notes), can be accessed here.
Management of Gypsy Moths
The email sent out May 15, 2021 to outline some methods of controlling and managing Gypsy Moth caterpillars, can be accessed here.
FOCA webinar regarding Gypsy Moths
On June 9, 2021, Julia Madden sent a note indicating: “We’re pretty defeated at our cottage so far. We’ve killed thousands and I do mean thousands of caterpillars of all shapes and sizes so far. I scraped hundreds of eggs in Feb March and April and really didn’t make a dent.
BTK worked for areas I could reach but they’ve eaten clean many oaks on south shore of Big Cedar. It’s so tiring trying to keep up with the overwhelming numbers.”
She then included a link to a FOCA (Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations) webinar with information about Gypsy Moths, which can be accessed here.
Webinar put on by the Forest Health Network and the Invasive Species Centre, held on June 10, 2021
While watching this webinar, there was a LOT of very interesting and useful information. However, the webinar is 2 hours and 30 minutes in length so Diane Trauzzi summarized the information and also provided the link to the webinar in case you’d like to watch the whole thing yourself (the link to the webinar is on the first page of the document linked below).
Note that Diane took a lot of notes, and then translated those notes into a (hopefully) easy-to-read format. She tried not to duplicate a lot of the information that has already been communicated and to focus on current status and what to do going forward. It is still 8 pages long (including many pictures and diagrams for clarity). However, there is a table of contents at the top to give you an outline of the document so you can read it all or only those sections you are interested in. And to be able to get back to specific sections easily. The table of contents is duplicated here so you can get an idea without opening the document what is included.
The Gypsy Moths have been a major frustration for many of us, and it is very sad to see the devastation happening to the trees on our property. Hopefully this information will help to make some sense of at least some of what you are experiencing, and that you learn some new things to help you.
Table of Contents:
1. What is the Impact of Gypsy Moths?
a. Environmental Impact
ii. Other Environmental Impacts
b. Impact to Humans
2. What to do now?
a. BTK and other pesticides (only effective on young caterpillars)
c. Pupation / Cocoon Removal
d. Moth Traps
e. Water your trees
f. Scrape Egg Masses in later summer/fall/winter/early spring
3. How much longer will these be around?
4. What’s next?
a. Prognosis for next year
b. Treatment options to consider for next year
i. BTK Spraying by Homeowner
iii. Aerial Spraying
5. History of Gypsy Moths in Ontario and map of defoliation across Ontario over time
6. Trees that Gypsy Moths Like
The full document, with notes and illustrations, can be accessed here.
The information about Gypsy Moth caterpillars generated a lot of inquiries and concerns from a number of our members about next steps / alternatives. Many members have been trying very unsuccessfully to try to manage this problem individually and are frustrated that all their efforts don’t seem to make a dent in the population of caterpillars and the unending stripping of the leaves and needles from their trees.
A number of inquiries were made about whether there would be any aerial spraying that could/would be arranged for our area for 2022, so Diane Trauzzi did some research to find out the details. She did extensive reading and searches on the internet, contacted some other Lake Associations, emailed people and received real-life examples, and talked to people that have gone through what we are now going through.
Everything learned was put together as a package of a Q&A document, along with a poll to be able to find out the interest in the Lake Community as a whole.
The Big Cedar Lake Stewardship Association does not advocate either for nor against aerial spraying for the control of Gypsy Moth. We are simply a volunteer association and have no authority to determine or direct the legal application of aerial spray treatment programs such as that offered by Zimmer Air Services. We will however, provide a conduit for individual property owners to connect, in order to streamline the application through working together.
That being said, please read the Questions and Answers about Aerial Spraying for the Control of Gypsy Moths at this link. Do not answer the poll, as it is no longer being monitored.
The Questions and Answers were put into a Google Web Site so that the answers can be hidden as collapsible text, in order to give you the ability to see all the questions in a concise format. You only need to click on the down-arrow beside a question, if you are interested in the answer to that question. Read them all or only those that you’re interested in, it’s your choice.
Here are a list of questions that are answered in the Q+A document:
1. Why Spray
2. What product is used?
3. Is it safe?
4. What will it cost?
5. What is the cost of doing nothing?
6. When would the spraying be done?
7. Will an assessment be done this year before fully committing to aerial spray for next year?
8. What is the method to do an egg mass survey?
9. What company would be hired to do the Aerial spraying?
10. What is the procedure for spraying?
11. What safety procedures will be put in place during spraying?
12. What is the effectiveness of Aerial Spraying?
13. What is involved with organizing an aerial spray?
14. What if my neighbours do not want their lands to be sprayed? Will my spray drift onto their property?
15. What are some examples of trees that have been sprayed vs. not?
16. What are some examples of trees that have refoliated over the summer?
Results of Poll from Big Cedar Lake regarding Aerial Spray endeavour
One week after the Poll was sent out to determine interest in Aerial Spraying for the control of Gypsy Moth in Spring 2022, a summary was put together of the responses received. The results, as well as a writeup that addresses concerns that were brought up, can be accessed here.
Aerial Spray for the Control of Gypsy Moths
As far as the effort goes to arrange for an aerial spray for Gypsy Moths in 2022, I first of all want to thank the immense efforts of many others on the lake. Diane Trauzzi spearheaded this effort and had an unprecedented 26 people volunteer to help out, and it wouldn’t have been possible to reach the numbers we did, without all of the help received. It shows that this is an issue that many are taking very seriously, that this many volunteers come forward.
We have 132 total properties on our Lake that are not vacant. Of those, we only had 9 remaining that we were not able to ascertain their interest.
Of the 123 properties that have responded, there were 103 that indicated they would be interested in the Aerial Spraying and 20 that do not wish to participate or are undecided right now. The following is a map that shows the properties around the lake.
Legend for the colour schemes:
Green = interested in Aerial Spraying; Application submitted
Light Green = interested in Aerial Spraying but no confirmation of Application
Red = do not wish to participate
Light Red = only not participating because neighbours are not
Bright yellow = no response received ** if you know the owners, please contact them **
Light yellow = response, but undecided right now
The following graphic really highlights the reason that Aerial Spraying helps so much in the fight against Gypsy Moth caterpillars.
Second Webinar put on by the Forest Health Network and the Invasive Species Centre, held on December 1, 2021
While watching this webinar, there was a lot of very interesting and useful information. However, the webinar is 3 hours in length so Diane Trauzzi summarized the information and also provided the link to the webinar in case you’d like to watch the whole thing yourself (the link to the webinar is on the first page of the document linked below).
Note that Diane took a lot of notes, and then translated those notes into a (hopefully) easy-to-read format. She tried not to duplicate a lot of the information that has already been communicated and to focus on current status and what to expect for 2022. There is a table of contents at the top to give you an outline of the document so you can read it all or only those sections you are interested in. And to be able to get back to specific sections easily. The table of contents is duplicated here so you can get an idea without opening the document of what is included.
Table of Contents:
1. The Pest in Ontario (review from last webinar and updates from this year)
2. Preparation for the 2022 infestation
3. Trees already affected by Gypsy Moths
4. A Forester’s Perspective on LDD Management in Oak Woodlands
5. LDD Issues in an Urban area
6. Paul Zimmer – Operational Logistics and Realities
7. Miscellaneous Q+A
The full document, with notes and illustrations, can be accessed here.
Anecdotal report of the results of an Egg Mass Survey that the BCLSA paid to have done in August in order to have an impartial expert determine the severity of the Gypsy Moth outbreak at Big Cedar
- On August 24, Paul Robertson of Trees Unlimited (associated with the Ontario Treelot Association) came to Big Cedar to do an official Gypsy Moth Egg Mass survey. This was funded by your association, BCLSA. The purpose of this survey was to have an impartial expert determine the severity of the Gypsy Moth outbreak, by looking at the Egg Masses that were laid this year which will hatch as Gypsy Moth caterpillars next year. Remember each egg mass has eggs for anywhere from 100 – 1000 Gypsy Moth caterpillars.
- Paul and I travelled around the entire perimeter of Big Cedar Lake, and he made observations as we went. I am still waiting for his formal report (which I will forward to you when I receive it) but I can summarize his findings that I heard from him as we went.
- You may remember from my Q+A document that the actual size of the egg mass is a vital statistic for assessing Gypsy Moth populations. Larger egg masses (more than 500 eggs per mass, greater than 30mm) indicate a healthy, increasing population whereas smaller egg masses are characteristic of a decreasing population (less than 20mm in size). The number of eggs per mass can be estimated by measuring the length of egg masses in the field.
- As we went around the Lake, Paul made comment to me about what he was seeing.
- There was only one spot on the lake where he did not find evidence of Gypsy Moth infestation, and that was at the Public Boat Launch (Figures! We have aquatic invasive species there, but no Gypsy Moth invasive species lol!) However, that being said, not at all far up that road from the ramp, there was evidence of significant Gypsy Moth invasion, so it is likely even that area will be infested next year (the Gypsy Moth caterpillars can spread up to 10-15 km away by blowing in the wind. So, even areas that had no infestation — like the Public Boat Launch — or moderate infestation, will likely experience high infestation next year.)
- Based on what Paul said to me in the vehicle as we drove around and as he got out and did his inspections, all other areas around the lake were found to have moderate to severe populations and populations that are growing in number. (It was very difficult to hear that despite all our methods that we used this year to try to control the Gypsy Moth caterpillars, our property was still rated as Severe, with a GROWING population. I can’t even imagine how bad it will be next year if it’s a growing population, because it was already SO bad this year.)
- Go to the website for the Ontario Centre for Defoliator Control. Scroll down and click on the Application for the 2022 Gypsy Moth Program. Note that by submitting this application you are not contracting for the service, you are only applying to start the process of the Application
- You will need to fill in some information: Name, email, phone, mailing address (your home address) etc.
- The County you should select is Peterborough County.
- Address to be sprayed is your cottage address which starts with your lot number, then your Fire Route name. Then you can use North Kawartha, Ontario, K0L 2H0.
- Property Tax Roll Number is the number that shows up on Tax Bills and is the number used for taxes. Note that we called the North Kawartha Taxation office to find out if this is a private number or is a number that is publicly available. More information about our discussion with her can be found at the bottom of this section if you are concerned about it, but to summarize, based on our discussion with McKenzie in the Taxation office, she assured us that it is not a confidentiality problem to provide a tax roll number to someone that requests it. The reason Zimmer / Ontario Centre for Defoliator Control needs this number, is that it can be used in a GIS-type system (GIS = Geographic Information System) to map the property so they can accurately know where it is and what exact acreage it has. This is so that they know the charge for your property (Zimmer pro-rates their charges based on partial acreages after the first acre) and also so they can see the number of properties that are in any one area. As stated above, Zimmer is going to be very busy in 2022, and won’t likely be interested in spraying individual properties here and there unless there are a significant number in the area.
- Group or Cottage Assocation – please put in the Big Cedar Lake Stewardship Association, but know that this is being organized by volunteers, not as members of the BCLSA executive, but as a similarly concerned property owners that are interested in giving the trees on our properties a fighting chance to survive a second year of the Gypsy Moth onslaught.
- Approximate Acres to be Sprayed – if you don’t know this, you can go onto MPAC in their “AboutMyProperty” site, or you can just enter 1 acre as a rough estimate. Most of the properties on our Lake are 1 acre or less.
- If you have more than one property that is to be sprayed, it is highly suggested to submit an application for each property, so that Zimmer has a complete picture of which properties are interested in having their lot sprayed.
- Some property owners may have a valid concern, about the confidentiality of Tax Roll Numbers. So we called the North Kawartha Township to ask for clarification.
- We spoke to McKenzie Sykes in the North Kawartha Taxation office. She indicated that although they would not give out tax roll numbers on the phone, they are in the Assessment roll book, and any member of the public can come in and look through this book, so Tax Roll numbers are publicly available. They are not a secure number like your SIN would be for instance. Tax Roll numbers are just a unique identifier for a piece of property and they won’t give you access to anything that you shouldn’t have access to. The Tax Roll number stays with property, not the property owner, so the last person that owned your property would have had the same number. Tax roll numbers also show up on your deed, and anyone can access deeds in the registry office in Peterborough, again this is publicly available information.
- Based on our discussion with McKenzie, we are assured that it is not a confidentiality problem to provide a tax roll number to someone that requests it. Also, Zimmer is a reputable company and are asking for it with a legitimate purpose, their request is not nefarious. Zimmer will use the number in a GIS-type (GIS = Geographic Information System) software program that maps each property and calculates exact acreage, so that when they tell you how much you will need to pay they will be able to calculate it exactly. Note that the fee will be a set amount for the first acre of property but then pro-rated for any partial acre after that. So for example, if you have 1.4 acres, you will pay the set amount for the first acre but only 0.4 % of the cost for additional acres, you won’t have to pay for 2 acres.
Instructions for Application to sign up for Aerial Spray
To get the process started, you will need to submit an application form to the Ontario Centre for Forest Defoliation Control (OCFDC). They are the company that are doing the administrative work of signing clients up for the Aerial Spray for Zimmer Air Services. The following is some explanation of how to fill in the application form. It is important to get on this right away as once Zimmer has reached the total number of clients they can handle they will no longer accept new applications. And, based on how bad the Gypsy Moth caterpillars were this past year, they are going to have far more clients than they can handle.
Here is how you submit the application form (it should take you 10 minutes or less, once you have your tax roll number (see below)):
Information about Tax Roll Numbers and their confidentiality
Summary of all of the steps needed in order to complete your sign-up process.
You will not be included in the spray until you have reached step 7:
1. You send in your application form with your property information — this is the form that you fill out by going to the Ontario Centre for Defoliator Control website and filling in your property information including your tax roll number
2. They send you back a pdf that shows what they
3. You send back a confirmation email saying that they have the correct mapping — you will not be included if you have not completed AT LEAST this step before they reach the maximum number of clients that they can service this year
4. They send you your Service Agreement and Payment Authorization Form
5. You send back your completed Service Agreement and Payment Authorization Form – important to get these sent in as soon as possible
6. You send in any needed waivers — this step can be done AFTER you send in your Service Agreement and Payment Authorization Form, which are most important to get sent in right away. You only need a waiver for neighbouring properties who are NOT signing up for the spray.
7. You are now fully signed up and will be included in the spraying.