Gypsy Moths at Kennebec Lake

male (brown) and female (white) Gypsy moth with her egg mass.
Male (brown) and female (white) Gypsy moth with her egg mass.
July 2020 at Kennebec Lake. Photo: Brad Kennedy

A note from the KLA about the Gypsy Moth infestation at Kennebec Lake

Dear Kennebecers,

This communication is being sent in order to make members of the Kennebec Lake Association and the larger community aware of recent developments in looking ahead to the potential gypsy moth situation next year.

An initiative is underway to organize an aerial spraying program for the spring of 2021 with the intention of avoiding another extensive impact like that inflicted by the gypsy moth caterpillar this past year.

While many cottagers and owners may be ready to pursue such an effort, it is acknowledged that some will not be in favour and many others are hesitant until they have more information.

The KLA is neither for nor against a spraying initiative. The KLA believes that the decision to become involved must be one that is made by each individual property owner. Accordingly, the KLA is committed to ensuring that information is provided to members and other property owners in order that all might make an informed decision about whether or not to have their properties sprayed.

In searching for information, everyone is encouraged to refer to the Kennebec Lake Association website
https://www.kennebeclake.ca/GypsyMoths for what will be found to be a thorough compilation of sources and materials that can provide the basis for making a decision on spraying.

In addition to referring to the website, everyone is also encouraged to consult with neighbours as part of the decision-making process.

Thank you and stay safe,
Doc Mairorino, Chair
For Your KLA Executive

Further info about Gypsy Moths:

Nature Note about Gypsy Moths by Aileen Merriam, from Summer 2020 newsletter

More articles, about Gypsy Moths, in KLA Newsletter issues can be found by visiting Kennebec Lake Subject Listing from issue 1 on

Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Association (FOCA) website - invasive species section Various resources are identified including webinar. Note that as a member of the KLA you are a member of FOCA.

Invasive Species Centre Two one-hour webinars available (One scheduled for October 7th). The previous webinars have been recorded and are available on the Invasive Species Centre website.

MNR - Gypsy moth info

A detailed guide to Gypsy moths

Gypsy Moth alert - Kennebec Lake - October 2019

Gypsy Moth Spraying: 2020 - 2021

As many of you are aware, the Gypsy Moth Caterpillars did major damage to the trees this past summer in the Kennebec Lake area. These caterpillars are not native to North America. They typically feed on oak, birch, and pine trees. 1 larva can eat 1.0m2 of foliage. Outbreaks typically last up to 3 years in one area. Most hardwoods can tolerate up to 3 years of defoliation. Pine trees can die after 100% defoliation in 1 year.

It’s hard to predict next year’s infestation. A lot will depend on the concentration of egg pods/ masses deposited on trees. It should be noted that 70% of the egg masses are found above 10m in a tree.

What can we do?

  • We can remove the egg pods ourselves, they can be put in a bucket of soapy water. Do not just scrape them off onto the ground, as the pods can tolerate the snow and temperatures down to -20C
  • A double application via aerial spray of a chemical called BTK (Foray 48B) by a company named Zimmer Air next spring. This would occur mid to late May, weather permitting and calm winds. BTK is not harmful to the environment, animals, or humans.
  • Helicopters fly directly over the trees of your property and spray BTK at a rate of 1.6L/acre as allowed by law. Zimmer Air will map your property via tax roll number and apply the chemical using GPS gis navigation; it is very precise. Obviously, the more property owners that participate, the more effective the spray will be. This would be strictly a volunteer program and the spray would protect the majority of trees on your property for the current year. The cost is $357 for the first acre and $96 for each additional acre, this covers the cost of 2 applications.

    Below are links to frequently asked questions (FAQ’s). These pages will open in new tabs:

    Zimmer Air Services Forest Pest Control

    Zimmer Air Services - News

    Also attached are the forms required:

    1. Form to spray your property

    2. Spray waiver for those property owners who object to having their properties sprayed

    Zimmer Air requests your property form signed with your tax roll number, plus a signed spray waiver if your neighbour objects and does not want to participate. There are two options on the spray waiver in this case, one stating they themselves do not want to spray, but are okay with you spraying your property and the other is that they are not interested in spraying and if you spray, they want a 20m buffer around the property.

    Not receiving the spray waiver, will mean Zimmer Air will not spray yours or your neighbours property. Zimmer air will map each individual property to determine the exact cost.
    Deadline for all signed forms is December 15th, 2020.

    Note: if your neighbour is not willing to participate the onus will be on the property owner who wants to participate to obtain the spray waiver form from the adjacent property.