Tree destroying pests are not uncommon in North America as hundreds of different tree species are under near constant attack from both native and invasive insect species. Tree destroying insect pests are considered a serious problem in the United States, but you would think that such insect pests would be far less common in Canada due to the colder year round temperatures. However, the most damaging species of insect pests to trees are well represented in Canada. For example, the devastating gypsy moth and cankerworm are just as environmentally damaging in Canada as they are in the United States. These two insects are currently threatening a treasured group of trees in the city of Oakville in Ontario, Canada.


The city of Oakville is well known for its picturesque urban forests and enormous canopy. The urban forest in Oakville contains an astonishing two million trees. The city’s canopy is the most breathtaking site as it covers a large portion of the city. The overall canopy cover is nearly twenty eight percent. Sadly, this beautiful canopy is now being threatened by gypsy moths and cankerworms. Experts anticipate an unprecedented level of canopy destruction in Oakville unless prompt action is taken against the insect pests.


During the summer of 2017 surveys were conducted on gypsy moth and cankerworm populations in Oakville’s urban forest. Unfortunately, these surveys suggested that gypsy moths and cankerworms would become unusually destructive to Oakville’s native tree population during the 2018 year. The surveys indicated that twenty six woodlands would experience rapid defoliation and tree death unless the insect pests are dealt with in time. In response to this looming disaster, city officials have decided that Oakville’s urban forests must be treated with large-scale insect pest management methods. Starting in May aerial spraying will take place in Oakville’s forests in order to keep the insect pest population in check. City officials in Oakville are currently coordinating large scale aerial spraying operations with nearby municipalities in order to ensure the survival of their treasured canopy. It is estimated that twenty three percent of the existing canopy in Oakville will be destroyed unless the insect pests are eradicated.


Do you believe that aerial spraying efforts have a successful track record?



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