Hamilton

Helicopters to start spraying for gypsy moths next week as battle against pest continues

Low-flying helicopters will begin hovering around Hamilton and the surrounding area next week as the city continues its battle against the gypsy moth.

Staff warn of minor traffic delays around the spray areas between 5 and 7:30 a.m.

Gypsy moth larvae eat leaves and can strip entire forests if left unchecked.

Low-flying helicopters will begin hovering around Hamilton and the surrounding area next week as the city continues its battle against the gypsy moth.

This is the second year of the city's aerial spray program, which has been expanded in 2019 to cover even more territory.

Spraying is set to begin next week in Greensville, Ancaster, Carlisle and Waterdown. A second application of bio-pesticide is scheduled for the week after that.

City staff are warning of minor traffic delays around the spray areas between 5 and 7:30 a.m.

Click here to check out an interactive map with exact dates and times for spraying.

Gypsy moths are an invasive pest that has quickly spread over the United States and Canada. Its larvae feed on leaves and are capable of defoliating an entire forest in a short amount of time, threatening trees and entire woodlands, according to the city. 

The pesticide is an organic product that specifically targets the moths and other caterpillars, says the city. It won't kill off the pest completely, but is meant to regulate the size of its population.

Forestry staff have been monitoring the number of moths in recent years. In the fall of 2017 that found a high  population level that needed to be controlled.

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