Wellington County council to consider a study on gypsy moth spraying in 2022

·1 min read

Erin’s mayor isn’t sure if it’s financially practical, but he’s presenting a motion to have Wellington County staff investigate gypsy moth spraying in 2022.

The notice of motion was introduced at May’s meeting but council will decide if a report on pre-emptive spraying prior to the gypsy moth infestation next year is worth staff’s time at June’s meeting.

In a phone interview, Erin mayor Allan Alls said his town has a very bad infestation of gypsy moths which is why he introduced the motion.

European gypsy moths in the caterpillar stage have a large appetite for leaves which can lead to serious problems for trees.

“Not only are they destructive on the trees, the hairs on the caterpillar will give you a rash and welts on your skin,” Alls said, speaking from personal experience.

He explained the motion is not a direction to perform the spraying but to investigate the safety, practicality and cost of doing so.

Other municipalities have undertaken gypsy moth spraying this year but it comes at a price.

The mayor said the Town of Pelham sprayed 14 hectares — or nearly 35 acres — and his understanding is it cost $95,000.

“Well we’re many hundreds of hectares here so I don’t think it’s practical but I do really think we need to investigate it,” Alls said.

The next county council meeting is on June 24 at 10 a.m. held remotely.

Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com