If you’ve been walking through wooded areas in the park recently, you may have heard what looks like a gentle rain pitter pattering around you. Not rain, but the munching of hundreds of Gypsy Moth caterpillars! They have been feeding nonstop, often on oak leaves, throughout the park. They will land on the ground, on picnic tables, and on people, as they hang from their web strings and try to ‘balloon’ or sail to the next tree. While they’re not harmful to us, they’re pretty unpleasant!
At this time (late June) the caterpillars have mostly done their damage and are getting ready to pupate. The adults will emerge in July.
Check the City of Toronto website for more information and what you can do at your own home.
To learn what High Park has been doing over the years to control gypsy moths, visit Moths of Concern to Tree Health in High Park.
See also: CTV News article, June 18, 2021.