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Colder weather may have decreased Spongy Moth population

It seems that the region may be getting a break from last year’s spongy moth infestation.

The moths formerly known as gypsy moths caused massive defoliation last year in both the Bancroft and Pembroke areas. However, Renfrew County Forests is reporting that defoliation in their region is down this year. They say a combination of cold temperatures throughout the year and heavy rainfall has done some damage to the spongy moth population. The Ministry of Natural Resources says extended days of extreme cold can kill larvae or egg sacks.

Hastings County has reported the moth in several areas around Bancroft, but the Hastings County Tracking App does not list when the reports were filed. The Ministry has predicted moderate defoliation in North Hastings.

The moth is currently in its pupae life stage. The ministry says it is best to remove the pupae by hand and discard them, ideally in soapy water. The pupae will be hatching into adult moths near the end of the month, and the ministry says to ignore this stage as the damage spongy moths have caused has already been done. Instead, they urge people to look for egg masses to remove, which should start popping up in early August.

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