Toronto yard waste pick-up on hold to fight beetle

Some Toronto residents have had their yard waste collection cancelled this week to prevent the spread of the Asian long-horned beetle. The destructive insect pest is a menace to broad-leafed trees, including willow, fruit, elm, ash, and all species of maple. Authorities in Toronto are trying to halt the spread of the pest, which was discovered in an industrial area around Highway 407 and Highway 400 in the Woodbridge area.

There are concerns that the city could inadvertently spread the insect when yard waste is transported. The insects, which can fly more than a kilometre, pose a major risk to forests as there are no known chemical or biological controls for it.

The beetle is native to China and Korea but was found in Canada for the first time last week. The likely source of the infection is through wood packaging material.

Toronto residents are asked to look out for infestations and to report any to the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency at 1-800-442-2342