Published May 19, 2022

City of Barrie offering free burlap kits to combat the Spongy Moth

The city will be implementing several management options for the Spongy Moth

News release - from the City of Barrie

with files from Barrie 360 - Ian MacLennan

The City of Barrie is offering free burlap kits for residents to help combat the Spongy (LDD) Moth. These invasive species feed on tree leaves, destroying tree growth and taking away a trees ability to produce new leaves.

Placing a burlap sack around the tree trunk from June to mid-July provides a resting place for caterpillars, which can then be removed to prevent them from morphing into cocoons. Residents can pick up a free burlap kit at the following locations (while supplies last):

  • Friday, May 27: City Hall, 70 Collier Street, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 28: Dorian Parker Centre, 227 Sunnidale Road, from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 1: Peggy Hill Team Community Centre, 171 Mapleton Avenue, from 3 – 6 p.m.  
  • Friday, June 3: Southshore Community Centre, 205 Lakeshore Drive, from 3 – 6 p.m.  
  • Saturday, June 11: Dorian Parker Centre, 227 Sunnidale Road, from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.  

Kevin Rankin, Barrie's manager of forestry and parks operations, they are not expecting as harsh a caterpillar season as last year.

"Based on the surveys completed last year on egg masses, about a 90 per cent decline in the population through most of Barrie," he says.

However, there will be hot spots, according to Rankin. He says these include north sections of the city such as Sunnidale Park, Barwick Park and Hogans Woods.

Rankin says outbreaks are cyclical.

"About every seven to 10 years there is a spike in the caterpillar population that lasts anywhere from two to three years," he explains.

What happens, he says, is fungus and viruses grow and the population of these insects eventually declines and collapses.

More ways to help prevent the Spongy (LDD) Moth spread

The City will be implementing several management options for the Spongy (LDD) Moth and encourages residents to join in. These activities include:

  • Mid-May to June: staff will sticky-band City park trees and inject TreeAzin, an injection made from Neem tree seed to manage insect pests in woodlot, urban and residential environment trees, to protect high-value trees where multiple years of defoliation has occurred. Residents can also tape trees on their property to stop instar (tiny stage) caterpillars from reaching the treetop.
  • June to mid-July: staff will burlap park and street trees in high-population areas. Residents can use a City-supplied kit or make their own burlap bands, collect the cocoons and leave dead caterpillars on their trees to help control this pest.
  • August onward: egg mass scraping to prepare for 2023.

For more information and steps to help fight Spongy (LDD) Moths, visit ‘Pests & Diseases’ at

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