The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has been issued a pesticide use permit to aerial-spray 182 hectares of residences, park and farm land around Elk Lake in Saanich with a spray approved for use on organic farms, to eradicate a growing population of gypsy moth and minimize the risk they pose to forests, farms, orchards and trees.
The ministry is planning up to four applications of Foray 48B between May 10 and June 30, 2017, to control the moth. Foray 48B is used in organic farming and contains Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki (Btk). Btk has been approved for the control of gypsy moth larvae in Canada since 1961.
Btk is naturally present in urban, forest and agricultural soil throughout the province. It does not harm humans, mammals, birds, fish, plants, reptiles, amphibians, bees or other insects and only affects caterpillars after they have ingested it.
The 2016 gypsy moth trapping data revealed that a population of moths on Bear Hill, north of Elk Lake, in Saanich has persisted for at least three years and appears to be growing.
If left untreated, the moth could threaten endangered Garry oak ecosystems around Elk Lake and spread to new areas of the province via vehicles and the movement of household goods and other materials.
The permit application and maps are available at Saanich municipal hall, Central Saanich municipal hall and online at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/managing-our-forest-resources/forest-health/forest-pests/invasive-forest-pests/gypsy-moth/news
Treatment dates are weather-dependent and will be advertised closer to the first application date. Each treatment application will be completed before 7:30 a.m.
The gypsy moth is an introduced pest species. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of trees and shrubs and can damage forests, farms and orchards. Recurring gypsy moth outbreaks have defoliated large sections of forests and residential areas in Ontario, Quebec and the eastern United States in recent years.
- Learn more about gypsy moths: www.gov.bc.ca/gypsymoth
or, call toll-free: 1 866 917-5999.
- Multilingual health information is available by calling the BC Nurseline at: 8-1-1
- Chief medical health officer Dr. Richard Stanwick discusses Gypsy Moth spray treatment programs: https://youtu.be/FzTSmsxkJtc