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Gypsy moth caterpillars are stripping trees bare and raining down feces from the canopy across much of southern Ontario and Quebec, amid a record outbreak. Here’s why their populations have exploded and what can be done about them. The moths are known as the “LDD” moth because of their scientific name Lymantria dispar dispar. LDD moth is the name preferred by Ontario’s invading species program, which says its original common name of “gypsy moth” is derived from a culturally offensive slur. The caterpillars grow up to six centimetres long. They’re hairy and can be identified by the five pairs of blue dots and six pairs of red dots on their backs. The adult male moths are brown and fly around. The adult females are larger, white and can’t fly.

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