Moth Outbreak: Millions of Critters Invade Quebec City

Moths known as 'aspen tortrix' invaded La Sarre of Quebec province, as people cleaned piles of living and dead moths for hours together

Shoveling is usual in winter in the city of Quebec, but now, they are doing it so early as they are shoveling thousands of moths. Residents of La Sarre in northwest Quebec province cleaned piles of living and dead moths for eight hours outside Montreal.

Reports say that the moths swarmed the town in herds, hanging itself across lampposts and buildings. Francois LaFleur, a local car dealer had to clean a ton of moth. He told CTV News that there were "thousands and thousands" of moths, almost close to a million.

'Like Cloud in The Sky'

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His staff said that the insects came to the area in clusters, "looking like clouds in the sky." LaFleur said the moths took over his firm as they planted themselves onto vehicles. The localities used water and shovels to remove all the critters. However, the car firm's workers couldn't catch up with the moths.

They even had to use a winter (snow) loader to clear them off. After removing the moths, another problem awaited - the pungent stench. LaFleur described that it smelled like fish. The Entomologists identified the bug as the large aspen tortrix, commonly found in Ontario and Quebec. These moths mainly reside in large swaths in forests, they get attracted to bright commercial lights that act as breeding grounds.

Nothing to Fear: Experts

These swarming insects are mostly harmless, according to experts. However, the town's population feared it. Etienne Normandin, an entomologist at the Université de Montréal, said that the population should be aware that the species was commonly found in many areas. There was not much to worry, he added.

But it was unclear as to why there were so many moths in the season. The government of Ontario said such outbreaks of the species lasts from two to three years.