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Mothpocalypse: There is an outbreak of moths in Metro Vancouver (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)

Outbreaks occur every 11 to 15 years
moth-feature
The current outbreak of Western hemlock looper moths began two years ago.  Photo: @GriesLab and @sqwabb / Twitter

If you feel like you've been seeing a great deal of moths lately, you are not alone. 

Metro Vancouverites have taken to social media to share images and videos of the winged insects, noting that they have arrived in swarms.

And while it isn't uncommon for locals to post about invasions of 'creepy crawlies' - flying ant day is an annual grievance - this particular type of infestation might not take place for another decade. That said, it may not end soon. 

According to the District of North Vancouver, there is currently an outbreak of western hemlock looper moths that started on the North Shore. Now, the pests are spread throughout the Lower Mainland.

Western hemlock looper moth are common in British Columbia and are known to defoliate trees, especially hemlocks, Douglas firs, and red cedars.

Outbreaks occur every 11 to 15 years when environmental factors cause their populations to spike. 

While there are no practical measures that may control the outbreak, it typically runs its course within three years. 

The current outbreak of Western hemlock looper moths began two years ago

Have a look at some of the photos and videos locals have snapped of the swarms this year.

– with files from Brent Richter and Ben Bengston. 

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Elana Shepert

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