Sixty-two hectares of residential and municipal park land in North Surrey are planned for an aerial spray beginning in early May until June 30, 2019.
The aerial spraying aims to eradicate a growing population of gypsy moths and minimize the risks they pose to forests, farms, orchards and trees. The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has been issued a pesticide-use permit to aerial spray and is planning up to four applications of Foray 48B over the two-month time period 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 soils 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.
Trapping and monitoring results over the past several years show clear evidence a gypsy moth population is establishing in the proposed treatment area close to Highway 1, near the Port Mann Bridge in North Surrey.
This is the same area that was ground (hand) sprayed in 2017 and 2018. It is now apparent that the ground sprays were not effective, likely due to limited site access.
The gypsy moth is an introduced pest species. The caterpillars feed on tree leaves and can damage forests, farms and orchards. Large gypsy moth populations defoliated sections of forests and residential areas in Ontario and the eastern United States in recent years.
If left untreated, the moth could spread to new areas of the province through vehicles, containers, rail cars and marine vessels, and lead to quarantines which would impact agricultural and horticultural businesses in the area.
The permit application and maps are available at Surrey City Hall, and online at: https://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.
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: 811
Dr. Richard Stanwick, chief medical health officer, discusses gypsy moth spray treatment programs: https://youtu.be/FzTSmsxkJtc