BARRIE, ONT. -- Thousands of gypsy moth caterpillars are on a feeding frenzy in Barrie, and now city councillors are looking into options to deal with the infestation.

"This is something, particularly the northeast end of Barrie, we are seeing heavy impact around the amount of caterpillars and the damage that's being done and the nuisance it's causing," said Ward 3 councillor Ann-Marie Kungl.

At Monday's virtual city council meeting, councillors gave initial approval for the city to look into things like aerial spraying or pheromone traps to help prevent future gypsy moth invasion.

Councillors added an amendment was added to include some residential neighbourhoods in addition to wooded lots.

Related Article: 'They literally rain down out of the sky': Gypsy moth outbreak torments Simcoe County

"We want to see if there is a reasonable approach to make sure that's considered and not left out of any treatment plans," Kungl said.

The motion will go to council next week for final approval.

In the meantime, experts say it's difficult to predict if the outbreak will carry over to the next year.

"We are certainly still hoping that with the endemic proportions we are seeing, we may still see a fair bit of mortality from the virus that will at some point kick in and control this population," said Graeme Davis, Simcoe County Forester.